On Monday, we showed you how to direct your anger within the Eastern Conference. Today, it's only fair that we take our hate and direct it now at the Western Conference. If you're asking yourself, 'how do I appropriately make fun of an Oilers fan?' Or 'if I'm having dinner with a Ducks fan, what the best way to let them know that I don't agree with their point of view?'
Today, we've got the answers for you. Without any further ado, we've got great bloggers from around the Bloguin network playa hatin' on 15 WC teams. Click 'read more' or one of the links below to get started.
Laura Astorian, Thrashing the Blues
I could hate lots of teams. As a Thrashers fan, Tampa Bay could be the bane of my existence. If the Panthers were relevant outside of their goaltending, they'd rile me up a little bit too. But my roots as a Blues fan and my hometown of St. Louis make it pretty clear who I need to hate. Not the new "cool" team to hate - no, not the Red Wings (though I do despise them). I hate the Chicago Blackhawks.
In St. Louis, if you're a sports fan, there are two teams that you're contractually required to hate: the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Blackhawks. You can't get around it. Is there any rational basis for this hatred outside of geography? No, not really. The Cubs inspire more of a feeling akin to pity than hatred. The Blackhawks, until last season, inspired much of the same feeling.
Blues fans don't hate the Hawks just because they're good - because frankly we hated them when they were awful, too. We just hate them because they exist. Blackhawks fans are generally good people - I'm friends with quite a few in the blogosphere, and they deserved that Cup win. Bandwagon Hawks fans are a different breed, and much like I do with Pens fans who have only known that their team has existed for about five years or so, I tune them out. But no, I don't hate the Hawks' fanbase.
I hate how their players whined about the Blues "hitting too hard" last season. I hate the way that they tried to paint St. Louis as a dirty team to try to make up for the fact that they couldn't compete when it came to taking the body. I hate the fact that Chris Chelios is the living dead and that I had to deal with him making life difficult for St. Louis for so long. I hate the fact that they ever had Eddie "I'll give you one BILLION DOLLARS" Belfour on the team. I frankly hate the fact that they exist.
Actually, let's get back to Belfour. He might be the original reason that I hate the Hawks. I grew so tired of watching him when I was a kid pitching a fit and acting younger than I was every time something didn't go his way. Yes, I know that goalies are special, special people, but geeze. Throwing sticks and crying and whining just makes you look less like a quirky psychopath and more like a huge two year old who just shat yourself. One player isn't indicative of an entire team, or an entire city, but for the rest of my life whenever I think of Chicago I will think of a pissy Ed Belfour.
Thank you, Eddie, for helping me hate a whole franchise as much as I do. Tomas Holmstrom's getting close to that level as far as my hatred of Detroit goes, but no one can ever surpass you. Well done, sir. Well done.
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
The Columbus Blue Jackets, as far as I can tell, are the only professional sports franchise, anywhere, named after an article of clothing. Sports teams usually select as their mascot, some sort of fierce creature, awesome force of nature, or Native American stereotype. LIGHTNING! SHARKS! FIREWATERDRINKERS! The good people of Columbus selected...nondescript, lightweight outerwear. Not even intimidating outerwear, like motorcycle boots or a badass parka. Just a jacket. It's going to be a little breezy today!
But it's hard to hate a team solely for having a stupid name (although "Canucks" just about justifies it). No, the real reason to hate the Jackets, at least for us fans of fellow Central Division teams, is that we are forced to watch the Jackets on television several times a year. Thanks to the idiots at NHL Central Scheduling, I am forced to watch the Jackets take on the Blues (now THAT'S a name that screams "intimidation") seemingly every other week. Of my own volition, I would watch the Jackets, approximately, never. The NHL ought to adopt a rule that no team should be required to play the Jackets more than once a season, out of deference to the fans of the other 29 teams. The Jackets can fill out their schedule against AHL teams, whose fans will no doubt be excited to catch extended looks at Jakub Voracek and Marc Methot. It shouldn't affect their record much.
But why? Why is watching the Jackets so painful? It's not just that they are from Ohio, which (not New Jersey) is the real "armpit of America," as anyone who has had the misfortune to drive through it as quickly as possible can tell you. And it's not just that they are from Columbus, home to THE Ohio State University, possessor of the most annoying collegiate fanbase in America (non-Duke division). It's that the Blue Jackets are terrible, and play boring hockey in ugly uniforms. Gary Bettman, please don't make me watch this.
DETROIT RED WINGS
Oh Detroit, how I loathe you so. I despise every single person associated with the organization from the owner to the fans.
I hate Mike Ilitch. I hate that he created Little Ceasars. Only in Detroit could such shitty pizza turn into a global company. I hate the owners who came before him too. I hate that the NHL let the Wings treat the Blackhawks like a minor league team and use the Hawks to develop their players. Congrats, your early Cups were won because James Norris was an asshat with a conflict of interest (Would you expect any less from a guy who created the St. Louis Blues because he owned the arena?).
I hate your players. All of them, not just the slimeball dirtbags like Dino Ciccarelli and Todd Bertuzzi. For all the talk about what a "class organization" the Wings are, they sure have employed a lot of felons. I hate that Chris Osgood gets called an elite goaltender. You guys don't see any faulty logic in "he can really turn it on in the playoffs"? I must say, though, I love that the Wings have such an old roster and then still make excuses when guys get injured, like you expect 35 year olds to stay healthy for an entire season.
I hate your fans. I have to admit that I'm always amused by the conspiracy theories. Your tin foil hats are adorable. Yeah, the league is TOTALLY screwing an Original Six team that has made the playoffs every year for the last 19 years. Your sense of entitlement elitism knows no boundaries. For years I endured your mindless fans as they descended upon the United Center like locusts. The complete lack of knowledge about the history of your franchise is amazing. The way they criticize the Hawks for having a terrible owner and then stocking up on draft picks and becoming an elite team, you'd think they were all in comas from 1967 to 1982 or that they don't have internet access so that they can educate themselves. There is no such thing as an intelligent hockey discussion with a Wings fan. You can only ignore them until they go away. And once some of the old farts on the ice leave, I don't think we'll have to worry about any Wings fans being around for much longer.
Kelly, Blackhawks Down Low
Dear Predators, Predator fans, and the city of Nashville,
I hate you. So damn much. I hate your no-neck, Jabba The Hutt looking, gelatinous mass of a coach. I hate your no-name, overachieving goalies. I hate your lack of any player (with the very minor exception of Jason Arnott) that I can cheer for. I hate your pedophile-reminiscent team name. I hate your hideous jerseys. (Although your alternate last season started some redemption.) I hate your non-hockey troglodyte fans. I hate country music in a hockey arena.
Most of all, I hate your style of play. Now, if anyone that knows me is reading this, you're probably saying: "wait, Kelly, you said that the mid-90's Devils were who got you into hockey. What gives?" Yes, you're correct. I'm a Hawks fan first, Devils fan second. Yet, the Devils could at least make the trap entertaining. Who's your Scott Stevens? Who's your Ken Daneyko? Who's your Stephane Richer? I could go on, but I think I made my point. Plus, they played it well enough that they won hockey games,
including a Stanley Cup.
I guess if you're a person that has trouble sleeping, then the Predators are the team for you. It's just too bad the Great Nashville Flood this year didn't somehow wipe the Predators off the face of the Earth.
ST. LOUIS BLUES
I am a Blues fan, and I always will be. I love them with the adoring gaze of a puppy for its Snausage-toting master.
I also hate them, with the hatred of a puppy whose master balances that Snausage on his snout, and makes me sitsitsitsit for three minutes, and then takes it away and gives me a pat on the head instead. GOOD BOY.
The St. Louis Blues are the biggest cockteases in the NHL. They made the Stanley Cup Finals in the first three years of their existence...and got blown out every time, most famously serving as the posterized background for Bobby Orr's Superman goal. They then made the playoffs for like 100 years in a row...and made the conference finals TWO LOUSY TIMES. The most celebrated moment in franchise history, the "Monday Night Miracle," an OT winner in the 1986 playoffs, forced a playoff Game 7. Which they lost. St. Louis was briefly the home of Wayne Gretzky, only to serve as the setting for the absolute lowest moment of his career (and giving Steve Yzerman the cap to his career highllight video in the process). We celebrate our failures here in St. Louis, because that's all we've got.
More recently, the franchise went through a several-season period which can only be described as horrifically shitty. With typical franchise luck, they missed out on the No. 1 overall picks in the Crosby and Ovechkin drafts, but managed to snag the No. 1 overall pick just in time to draft...Erik Johnson. Nice kid, good player. But he's not going to get you the NBC Game of the Week 13 times in a row. There will be no Winter Classic at Busch Stadium. The Blues teased us again, with a scintillating run to the playoffs in 08-09...only to be swept out, and then miss the playoffs entirely the follwoing season.
This time, they tell, us, it's different. This time, we've got Jaroslav Halak. But it seems to me that I can recall another "up and coming" Eastern European goaltender who had put up stellar numbers in a backup role for a contender, was acquired in a trade, and billed as the key piece of a Blues Stanley Cup puzzle. That guy was Roman Turek. How'd that turn out?
So I will eagerly watch 82 games of Blues hockey this season. I will jump off my couch and scream each time Halak makes a snappy glove save. And I will drop my head in my hands and weep bitterly when he lets in a 100-foot slap shot, or has a dribbler trickle between his pads, or pulls a groin, and the Blues miss the playoffs once again.
As far as rivalries go for the Canucks in the Northwest Division, it's always been the Flames. It's never the Oilers or Avalanche or Wild, always the Flames. Even though we play each team in the northwest the same amount of times a year, it always feels like we play them more. We've even met them four times in the post season, and it seems to be that whoever wins the round goes on to the Stanley Cup finals. It's like an obligation as a good Canuck fan to hate the Flames, and the animosity is often why the games in Vancouver involving the Flames are often the most exciting. In 2004 I found it so wrong that people expected me to cheer for Calgary when they were in the Finals against the Lightning just because they were a Canadian team. I didn't cheer for them, in fact, I cheered for the Lightning.
Every time we play them, the games turn into fierce battles both on the ice as well as in the stands. Their douchey fans that always seem to get so drunk can be seen getting tossed from the arena after they start throwing punches in the upper bowl. Also douchey was Dion f-cking Phaneuf.
Ask most Canucks fans and there's usually no other team out there that we love to see fail more than the Calgary Flames. Like when Henrik got his last few points last year to win the Art Ross by putting on a goal scoring clinic against the Flames. I also take great pleasure in watching every move or signing that Sutter makes, hoping this will just screw up his team even more. Last year I was actively cheering for them to miss the playoffs. I would be quite happy if the Sutter family continues to drive that team into the ground for the next 50 years.
Arik Knapp, 4th Line Blog
You know what? I fucking wish the fucking Avalanche would get the fuck out of here back to Quebec City. I mean, I may hate to reward as horrible a place as QC, but at least if the Avs leave, we'll never have to hear about the fucking Avalanche in English ever again. What earns this damnation of sending an entire franchise to the hell known as Quebec? Shitass Ray Bourque. Now, Ray Bourque was a hell of a player and a great guy.
But fuck you Avalanche for thinking that because he won a Cup with you after spending 21 years with the Bruins he IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE AN AVALANCHE AND NOT A BRUIN. DOES THAT MAKE FUCKING CHRIS DINGMAN A FUCKING AVALANCHE FOR LIFE?
CHRIS FUCKING DINGMAN.
Also, Ray Bourque's restaurant is in Boston. Not Denver. And it is SWEETFUCKING delicious. What does Denver have? Adrian Dater. Thanks for that. FUCKING THANKS.
Arik Knapp, 4th Line Blog
There is a special (and very large) reservoir of hate in my heart for the Oilers. Like, on the level of Smallwood Reservoir large (that's a Thing in Canada, right?). So why the hate? Well, have you ever talked to an Oilers fan? Every other sentence is pretty much "5 Championships Wayne Gretzky BIG FUCKING MALL".
Ignore for a moment that Edmonton is a shit place to live and no wonder Gretzky left as well as Pronger. Ignore for a moment that the coaches are batshit crazy in all the wrong ways (see: Craig MacTavish ripping out Harvey the Hound's tongue). Ignore all that, and just imagine talking to a fan who hasn't moved on from 5 championships, the last of which happened 20 years ago. I'm sorry but FUCK YOU. The last time you won a championship, Tom Cruise was regarded as a superstar. TAYLOR HALL WASN'T EVEN FUCKING BORN YET. Edmonton, you suck.
And that mall?
It's a shit ass mall and everyone knows it.
Arik Knapp, 4th Line Blog
This is how I imagine a conversation with a Wild fan would go if I ever actually met one:
Sane person: "So- you like hockey?"
Wild fan: "Ooh yeah- I'm a big Minne-sooda Wild fan."
S: "I can tell." *looks pointedly at stomach enlarged by many bratwurst*
W: "Yeah, hackey's just a good time, donchaknow."
S: "I guess I do, I mea-"
W: "It's certainly not as fun as waterin' crops or tactor racin', but hackey fills the void of my soul when there's nothing else to do."
W: "Though we can never catch the Friday night games, we're out in the fields performing ritualistic sacrifices to Jim, Lord Of Sausage. When appeased properly by sacrificing the most entertaining person in town, giving up the offensive capabilities of the Wild, and resigning Brett Favre for another year of football no matter the cost, Jim gives us all the sausage we need, plus a little pop. And oh boy my favorite type of pop is MURDER FLAMES WILL BURN THE FIELDS OF WHEAT AND BARLEY AND HELLFIRE SHALL REIGN OVER ALL VEGGIE SAUSAGES."
S: *slowly backs away*
Arik Knapp, 4th Line Blog
You know what? This team is the fucking devil. I mean, this is the franchise that stood behind motherfucking Todd Bertuzzi and piece of shit Marc Crawford. These guys employed Ed Jovanovski, the biggest sack of shit west of Matt Cooke. I still have hatebacks (hateful flashbacks) to him in the '04 playoffs cheating any chance he got. I mean, hell, this team endorsed obesity by employing Kyle "I want my tummy to meet my penis" Wellwood.
But enough about the fuckballs of years past. Because they're worthy of your hate more than ever. Why? FUCKING SWEDISH TWINS. You know what I want to see when I hear the words Swedish twins? NOT FUCKING HAIRY ASS MEN. WHOSE ASSES ARE ALSO PROBABLY HAIRY. Not only are these not the beautiful tall blondes you'd hope for, but they're goddamn overrated to boot. Fuck the Sedin's, fuck the Canucks, and fuck the Vancouver yupfuck greenmen who are like 2 years too late on that particular bandwagon.
Even the word fills me with ire. It's not the Ducks fault that they happen to find themselves right across the street from the baseball team that I hate with the fiery burning passion of 15 suns. No, what is their fault is that they are really freaking annoying, and we face them six times a year.
Named after a cute, relatively harmless aquatic bird, the Ducks seem to feel the need to take the doucheness up a notch to make up for their utterly unimposing name. They bring in guys like former alternate captain elbows, Chris Pronger, Look-At-My-Porn-Stache-Parros, and Corey freaking Perry to run guys into the boards, then act like whatever happened was the fault of the guy they hit. (“He walked into that crosscheck, I swear!”)They run goalies, grandmas, rookies, puppies, even kittens into the boards with a blatant disregard for life and hockey honor. It's disgusting really.
They're total jerk offs who refuse to realize the Sharks are the better team. Why not just let the Sharks win? They're pretty much always the better team on paper, just give into fate. Put down your goalie force fields, stop your goalie seeking missiles, and play like you're supposed to. Just let us win! Why do you continue to operate under the assumption that defeating divisional opponents is a good thing? Just lose like you're supposed to. It will make everyone much happier.
Enforcer, Barry Melrose Rocks
Being from Minnesota, it's only natural for me to hate the Stars. They were stolen from the Twin Cities by Norm Green and Texas and dropped the "North" from their name, like Brian Bellows never existed. then they went out and won the Stanley Cup, something they could never do in Bloomington. It was like a kick in the nuts. But the worst part is, they kept Modano all this time, so we didn't really ever hate all the players in Dallas, and Norm Green sold the team, so we didn't even really hate the ownership any more. We just hated the fact that a team from Texas even existed, and at our expense. Now that we could hate all the players in Dallas, what with Modano moving on, we have our own team, and the hate is no longer festering.
It's not too difficult to hate the LA Kings. Most "Kings fans" hate their own team more often than they praise them. (I use the term "Kings fan" loosely because while there is a hardcore fan base, most people who follow the Kings are LA fans, a rare breed of bandwagon fans who flit from team to team depending on which one is winning.) It's almost more difficult to make fun of the Kings because their fans do such a good job. It's almost like the kid who throws himself in the trash can because he knows it coming.
From personal experience, I have learned that Kings fans can also be terrible when crossed. I have only seen the Sharks play on the road twice. Once was in Washington DC in college and the other time was two years ago in LA at the Kings home opener. That game is the only time I have ever heard someone openly threaten an opposing fan's life. During an intermission, a guy in a Sharks jersey was standing up and talking on the phone when a guy from the next section over yelled "Sit down or I'm going to f'ing kill you!!" Opposing fans can expect some harassment, but that Kings game introduced me to a special brand that comes with a mixture of self-loathing, bitterness, and booze.
As for players, how can you not hate the team in California that ended up with Wayne Gretzky? (What? The Sharks weren't around when that happened? Quiet you! You're ruining my bitterness!) Ryan Smyth? Even Kings fans hate him. Jack Johnson? I think I have one of his albums somewhere. I usually skip over those songs. Something about Anze Kopitar? Ok, well he's pretty adorable. Brayden Schenn? Ok, well it was awesome to see how pissed Brian Burke was when the Kings drafted him ahead of the Leafs. Ignoring those 2 guys, this team is full of underachievers who figure out how to play well just in time to beat your team. Jerks!
Why do we hate the Phoenix Coyotes? It's a complicated thing. You see, they're division rivals, which, in and of itself, is more than enough to cause us to hate them with a ferocity. But it's not just their proximity that makes them annoying. You see, the desert dogs have this annoying ability to be likeable underdogs. You want them to do well, especially if you, like us, live in a “non traditional market.” But then, we play them all the damn time, they're always the last game of the year, they refuse to just roll over and die, they have Bryzgalov and got him for essentially free from the blasted Ducks, and despite being the progenitors of many a “two Michaleks, One Cup*” jokes (when both the Sharks and Yotes still had Michaleks), there's that bit of nastiness know to Sharks fans as “Coyote Ugly” to worry about.
That game is not to be spoken of. Ever.
It's embarrassing enough that they can actually make the Sharks look like chumps every so often, but then they have to go and actually play amazingly well against them on a regular basis, keeping most games to a 1 to 2 goal scoring affair. They're tenacious, annoying, and make games downright nail biting.
Screw you, Coyotes. We fully support your existence, but can 'ya dial the divisional success thing down a bit? We've got enough to worry about.
*some would say that joke is more than enough to cause a long lasting hatred against the Coyotes. We'll ignore the fact that we're pretty sure we popularized it.
SAN JOSE SHARKS
Ugh, Northern California. Did you ever see that episode of South Park where the Dad buys a Prius and all of a sudden his farts stop smelling and he moves the family to San Francisco because they fit in better there? That pretty much sums up Northern California for me. I was born and raised in Southern California and it's your duty as a native to hate on the North. Sure, us Los Angeleans might be criticized for being shallow and materialistic… but at least the weather here is always great. Fog sucks!