PLAYOFF TRADITIONS: Western Conference Playoff Preview

Since you come to Hockeenight for…well we don’t really know why you come here. But since you do we’re going to give you a closer look at some of the other matchups in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Eastern Conference has been handled by someone who actually cares about it so now we’re going to focus on the West and go series by series. I thought it would be fun to look at each series by the team’s playoff tradition. Let’s get to it.

Vancouver Canucks (1) vs. Los Angeles Kings (8)

Vancouver is famous for their towel waving which started back when Roger Neilson was coach. They even have a statue to commemorate the moment. Legend has it he started waving his towel in the air to command Canucks fans to begin throwing trash on the ice the second something goes wrong. Both traditions continue to this very day.

In Los Angeles, fans show up at some point in the second period before realizing it’s not a Lakers game. After a few phone calls, texts, sexts, tweets, facebook posts and complaints about how cold it is they finally depart while Eric Cartman screams “GO KINGS GO” to a mostly apathetic building.

The Pick: Vancouver in 4

St. Louis Blues (2) vs. San Jose Sharks (7)

In St. Louis, fans are known for their passion and commitment. That’s why they passionately blend all of things you can buy over the counter at CVS and ingest them in smoothie form before each playoff home game. They also have a cute tradition of never winning anything of importance ever.

The Sharks are known for their loud building but if you actually attended a game at the HP Pavilion you’d find out it’s actually 20,000 people screaming I DON’T KNOW WHAT WE’RE YELLING ABOUT at various times creating a very confusing atmosphere for visiting teams. Since the Sharks usually get beaten by lower seeds in the first round, they are primed to pull of the opposite.

The Pick: Sharks in 6

Chicago Blackhawks (3) vs. Phoenix Coyotes (6)

Chicago fans are known for their boisterous national anthem and have recently introduced a red rally towel. The team is hopeful that someone will use it to choke the life out of Jim Belushi, should he manage to slither into the United Center. They also like to yell “SHOOT IT!” even when their team doesn’t have the puck.

Phoenix cherishes their whiteout. Everyone in the crowd is given a white t-shirt to wear so the entireties of the lower and upper bowls look white. We are not sure what this is supposed to achieve. Unfortunately, everyone born in Chicago over the age of 60 either moves to Florida or Phoenix. The whiteout is going to end up looking more like one of Fork’s shirts after a meatball sandwich.

The Pick: Blackhawks in 6

Nashville Predators (4) vs. Detroit Red Wings (5)

In Nashville, they stole their first round opponent’s stupid tradition and made it even stupider. Someone will sneak in a catfish under their carpenter overalls and throw it onto the ice while everyone slaps their knees and asks everyone else if they saw that. Example: “Did you see that, Jim Bob?” “I sure ding dong diddly did Cooter hyuk hyuk hyuk!” They also chant “you suck” at opponents when they score. Their goal song is an amalgamation of the worst country music imaginable and guitar licks from convicted child molester Gary Glitter.

Everyone knows about Detroit’s octopus and the eight arms blah blah blah. What you may not know is that Todd Bertuzzi will literally eat a Detroit area child in the locker room while Johan Franzen speaks tongues in a bizarre ritual brought to the team by Mike Babcock in 2005. Also their fans are poor.

The pick: Detroit in 6


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