Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview – Romancelandia Edition

April 15, 2014 Opinion 19

As many of you know, I’m an enormous hockey fan. I have cable TV only to watch hockey games. I own a Bruins “blanket with sleeves”. I’ve traveled out of state to go to away games. I’ve been made physically ill by particularly stressful games. I have a disease, and I inherited it from my mother, who coordinates her earrings and glasses to be in full black and gold for Bruins games.

Starting this Wednesday are the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 16 teams play four seven-game series and only one team gets to drink from the greatest trophy in sports before getting their names engraved on it. To commemorate this joyous and ulcer-inducing time of year, I’ve put together this completely objective and informative guide to the 16 teams who made the cut.

Eastern Conference

b logo

Boston Bruins

Who’s good at hockey?

Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask

Why you want them to win.

Jarome Iginla, the beloved former captain of the Calgary Flames, is on the Bruins this year and the man deserves a cup. Only a jerk wants to see Iginla lose.

Why you don’t want them to win.

Since 2001, Boston’s seen championship parades for football (3 times), baseball (3 times), basketball (once) and hockey (once). You also probably hate pest par excellence Brad Marchand.

What romance novel or author best describes them?

Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Devereaux. Really good, but reviled by many.

 

wings

Detroit Red Wings

Who’s good at hockey?

Henrik Zetterberg, Gustav Nyquist, Niklas Kronwall

Why you want them to win.

They’ve won the most Cups of any American franchise. They gave us the octopus thrown on the ice. Rooting for Hockeytown is rooting for a winner.

Why you don’t want them to win.

Kronwall has probably pasted your favorite player splat into the boards, and they don’t fight. Also, Todd Bertuzzi jumped a guy on the ice and ended his career.

What romance novel or author best describes them?

Nora Roberts. Consistently delivers the goods year after year. This is the 23rd straight year they’ve made the playoffs.

 

pensPittsburgh Penguins

Who’s good at hockey?

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang

Why you want them to win.

You live in Pittsburgh or you’re from Cole Harbor, N.S., where Crosby is from. Literally everyone else wants a comet to hit them.

Why you don’t want them to win.

You live outside of Pittsburgh are are sick of Sidney Crosby’s face and/or you root for one of the many teams that has had a player injured by someone on the Penguins.

What romance novel or author best describes them?

Anything by Catherine Anderson. Half of them have some sort of injury and I hate them with every fiber of my being.

 

cbjColumbus Blue Jackets

Who’s good at hockey?

Brandon Dubinsky, James Wisnewski, Ryan Johansen

Why you want them to win.

This is only the second time in franchise history that Columbus has made the playoffs, and they’ve never won a game. Talk about your underdog. As a bonus: they’re playing Pittsburgh. C-B-J! C-B-J!

Why you don’t want them to win.

You like to kick puppies and root against the underdog, or you’re a Penguins fan. Come to think of it, I bet there’s a lot of overlap in that Venn diagram.

What romance novel or author best describes them?

Self-published romance. Lots and lots of rough spots in their team history and very few gems. But you never know if this one might be a hit.

 

200px-Tampa_Bay_Lightning_Logo_2011.svgTampa Bay Lightning

Who’s good at hockey?

Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Ben Bishop

Why you want them to win.

They’re playing the Habs in the first round, so if nothing else, a Lightning Cup win means Montreal lost early in the playoffs

Why you don’t want them to win.

Hockey in Florida just doesn’t make sense. Why is there hockey in Florida?

What romance novel or author best describes them?

Liz Carlyle. Her good books are great, but her bad books are bad. The Lightning either go deep in the playoffs or they finish dead last. There’s no middle ground.

 

200px-Montreal_Canadiens.svgMontreal Canadiens

Who’s good at hockey?

P.K. Subban, Max Pacioretty, Carey Price

Why you want them to win.

They’re the only Canadian franchise in the playoffs, so rooting for them is your patriotic duty if you’re Canadian.

Why you don’t want them to win.

If you’re not Canadian, or you’re a Leafs fan, you’re hoping Tampa sweeps them right out of the playoffs. You know the New York Yankees? Met a Yankees fan? The Canadiens are the Yankees of the NHL.

What romance novel or author best describes them?

Georgette Heyer. A founding member of the NHL with a long list of successes and well known outside the league as one of the most popular teams.

 

rangersNew York Rangers

Who’s good at hockey?

Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan McDonagh, Chris Kreider

Why you want them to win.

If they win the Cup, I bet there’d be pictures of a champagne-soaked Henrik Lundqvist and that sounds pretty all right. *daydreams*

Why you don’t want them to win.

Rooting for New York teams is against my religion. It should be against yours as well.

What romance novel or author best describes them?

Lisa Kleypas. Consistently pretty good, but rarely knock-you-over amazing.

 

flyersPhiladelphia Flyers

Who’s good at hockey?

Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Scott Hartnell

Why you want them to win.

I hope they go on a deep run just for the return of Scott Hartnell’s amazing playoff beard.

Why you don’t want them to win.

Every team has a pest and/or a guy who plays on the clean/dirty edge. On the Flyers, that’s the whole team.

What romance novel or author best describes them?

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. Violent, more than a little sketchy, but I’m entertained despite it all.

 

Western Conference

duckslogoAnaheim Ducks

Who’s good at hockey?

Teemu Selanne, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry

Why you want them to win.

This is the final season for the incomparable Selanne, and what player wouldn’t want to go out like Mark Recchi and win the Cup their last year?

Why you don’t want them to win.

Who wants to see a team based on Disney’s Mighty Ducks movies succeed? Not me.

What romance novel or author best describes them?

P2P fanfic. They’re a team based on a Disney movie. They used to be the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and rock this logo.

 

dallasDallas Stars

Who’s good at hockey?

Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Alex Goligoski

Why you want them to win.

This is their first trip to the playoffs since 2008 and a Cup win would be a great FU to the media who rode Seguin out of Boston for having too much fun.

Why you don’t want them to win.

This is what used to be the Minnesota North Stars. If you’re from Minnesota, you may be understandably bitter still.

What romance novel or author best describes them?

New Adult. Led by 22 year old, hard-partying, tattooed bad boy Tyler Seguin, the Stars are totally the story about our hero’s redemption after leaving Boston in disgrace.

 

avsColorado Avalanche

Who’s good at hockey?

Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene

Why you want them to win.

They finished dead last in the West last year then finished second this year in a VERY tough Western Conference. Winning the Cup would be on par with the 2013 Red Sox.

Why you don’t want them to win.

These guys are an advanced stats anomaly. If you want order restored to the universe, you want these guys to lose.

What romance novel or author best describes them?

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. They came out of nowhere to finish second in the West this year but poor possession numbers and lots of luck point to their success being unsustainable.

 

200px-Minnesota_Wild.svgMinnesota Wild

Who’s good at hockey?

Zack Parise, Ryan Suter, Mikko Koivu

Why you want them to win.

Minnesota, a proud hockey state, has had two NHL franchises and neither has won them a Cup. It’s not fair.

Why you don’t want them to win.

They employ the headhunting dickbag Matt Cooke. I want nothing but failure for anyone paying him to play hockey.

What romance novel or author best describes them?

LaVyrle Spencer. The pride of Minnesota with a bunch of American leading men.

 

sharksSan Jose Sharks

Who’s good at hockey?

Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Tomas Hertl

Why you want them to win.

When Hertl scored four goals in one game this year, a reporter asked if that was showboating. Thornton cut in and said if he ever scored four goals like that, he’d take his cock out and stroke it. So, that could be interesting.

Why you don’t want them to win.

Either you’re a Kings fan or you think Raffi Torres has no business still playing hockey.

What romance novel or author best describes them?

Meredith Duran. She’s never won or been a finalist for the Rita. San Jose has made the playoffs for ten straight years and hasn’t even made it to the Cup Final.

 

200px-Los_Angeles_Kings_Logo_(2011).svgLos Angeles Kings

Who’s good at hockey?

Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick

Why you want them to win.

The more games the Kings play, the more post-game pressers coach Darryl Sutter gives. He’s always a great quote.

Why you don’t want them to win.

They won it in 2012. Imagine how smug superfan Wil Wheaton would be if they won again. Nobody wants that.

What romance novel or author best describes them?

Harlequin Presents. Arguably the #1 puck possession team. Nobody takes what belongs to them.

 

200px-StLouis_Blues.svgSt. Louis Blues

Who’s good at hockey?

T.J. Oshie, Alexander Steen, David Backes

Why you want them to win.

Jon Hamm is a huge Blues fan. You like Jon Hamm, don’t you?

Why you don’t want them to win.

They’re playing your team? I got nothing. I like the Blues.

What romance novel or author best describes them?

Mary Balogh. Sustained success over several decades right up until the present but has never won the big prize.

 

chicagoChicago Blackhawks

Who’s good at hockey?

Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith

Why you want them to win.

After the dismal, horrible, no good, Bill Wirtz ownership years, where the team wasn’t even on TV because he thought it was unfair to season ticket holders, the Blackhawks are experiencing a rebirth and it’s hard not to root for them.

Why you don’t want them to win.

They won last year and in 2010. Sharing is caring.

What romance novel or author best describes them?

An old Signet Regency released in ebook. They’re a hidden gem rescued from obscurity.

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Ridley

An ice hockey fan from north of Boston and the genre's most beloved troll, Ridley enjoys reading contemporary and historical romance, as well as the odd erotica novel. As someone who uses a wheelchair, she takes a particular interest in disability themes.

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19 Responses to “Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview – Romancelandia Edition”

  1. Meoskop

    YES! Why is there hockey in Florida??? Someone talk to the Broward commissioners before they pass the Panthers another payoff.

  2. Liz Mc2

    This is absolutely the best thing ever. I loved the Habs as Heyer especially, but they’re all right on. I’m feeling smug that I Iiked the Ducks more before they filed off the serial numbers.

  3. Merrian

    Love this article, as Liz says it is the best thing ever and I have no idea at all about Hockey :) Love Henrik’s dreaminess. Now thinking about barracking for the team that best represents my fave genre books.

  4. Roslyn Holcomb

    Hockey is big in Huntsville, AL which is my adopted hometown. I miss the minor league tesm we used to follow there. The tickets were priced low enough that you could take the kids without going bankrupt. When we went to my first game my husband said it’s like soccer on ice. It was easy to follow after that. My son wants to play, but damn hockey is expensive, we’ll have to work our way up.

  5. lawless

    Ha, I’m a Pittsburgh Penguins fan and I don’t live near or come from anywhere near Pittsburgh. But a lot of it is due to my love for Mario Lemieux, their mascot (I have a collection of penguin figurines and stuffed toys), and Evgeny Malkin.

    Henrik Lundqvist is mega hot.

  6. Courtney Milan

    This was hilarious.

    I can pretty well promise that the Colorado Avalanche will NOT win because I am rooting for them, and every time I vaguely take an interest in a sports team, they fall on their faces spectacularly.

    Proof #1: Every time I have been to an Avs game they have given up three goals in the first period. My husband is torn between wanting me to go to games with him and wanting his team to win.

    Proof #2: Broncos. This year’s Superbowl.

  7. Phyl

    Absolutely love this! And I laughed out loud at the Catherine Anderson/Penguins pairing. I’m looking forward to watching a lot of hockey in the weeks ahead. You did a great job with this, and I’ll be remembering this every step of the way. Oh, and Go Flyers!

  8. mel burns

    Terrific post…..it’s always great to start the day with a laugh.

    A barista at my local cafe is an avid Kings fan…..the place is decked out in everything Kings and hockey is the main topic….in fact I can hear them arguing about it as I write this comment. LOL

  9. Rebe

    This. is. AWESOME! I totally missed the Thornton quote when it happened – that’s hilarious!

  10. Ridley

    @Las:

    Now do football.

    Oh man, I know fuck all about football. I’m more knowledgeable on advanced math than I am on football.

    @lawless:

    Henrik Lundqvist is mega hot.

    Yeah he is. There’s a number of hotties in the mix this year.

    Chicago’s Patrick Sharp:

    Boston’s Patrice Bergeron:

    Dallas’ Tyler Seguin:

    Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg:

    And L.A.’s Dustin Brown:

  11. Carla

    You have a new fan here. OMG, I cried sitting at my office desk, reading this. I <3 you so much right now.

    Blueshirts Forever! :-) (Sorry, Phyl, I had to.)

  12. cleo

    Thanks for this! It made my morning. I only know about the Hawks and the Redwings, so this guide is handy. My favorite part of the playoffs are the playoff beards (poor Patrick Kane, he’s so cute the rest of the season).

  13. Sunita

    This is even more fantastic than I had hoped. Way to go, Ridley!

    The Stanley Cup playoffs are the best playoffs in any sport, and I’ve followed a lot of them. Where else do you stay up until 3am (in every time zone at one point or another) watching triple overtime? And where else does playoff facial hair look even one-third as good?

    As a Sharks fan, I try to create some emotional distance during the playoffs, given what I know is almost certain to happen. Never works, but unlike other sports, I keep watching after they’ve exited.

  14. Pamela

    This came out so well! Super fun to see your two loves in a mash-up post that sheds light on both romance and hockey canons.

  15. cleo

    Our cable has gone out during the Stanley Cup playoffs at least twice in the past few years. I remember trying explain to an obviously offshore call center person that it was VERY IMPORTANT that they fix our cable before the next playoff game. I’m not sure they got the importance of the Stanley Cup, but they did fix our cable in time.