The Bandwagon Jumping Guide to the Stanley Cup Finals


Jarrod Chermely, Staff Writer

It’s Stanley Cup Finals time once again, except something’s missing: the Pittsburgh Penguins.

So the Pens didn’t make it this year, and that’s a shame. It’s Vegas and Washington this time. OK so that isn’t great news either. Don’t switch over to a different channel yet, though.

Even people who have no interest in either team winning it all might as well be like fans in other NHL cities who couldn’t care less about the outcome and just jump on a bandwagon.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each team and choose one to hook our wagons onto for the rest of the series.

First there are the Washington Capitals, located in good old Washington, D.C. There’s not much to say about the city itself, but the president lives there? Yeah, there’s not much to say about that city.

Las Vegas, however, is a much prettier, bustling city of scammers that uses up half of the West Coasts’ power supply every night, with the added bonus of not having Donald Trump living there. So that’s a win-win.

As for the teams themselves, there are some pretty bad sports on both ends.

Everyone remembers Tom Wilson from that “shoulder” hit that broke Zach Aston-Reese’s jaw and gave him a concussion; which was followed by laughter from Wilson. He’s not a good guy.

For Vegas, there is Penguins alumni James Neal, who has been called the “Dirtiest Player in the NHL.” by former referees. But he didn’t break any jaws after leaping into people at full speed, so Vegas wins this one too.

Let’s take a look at the drama.

Washington has Alexander Ovechkin, who has been called one of the best players in the NHL, up there with Sid Crosby, by many. However, ever since his arrival with the Caps in 2005 he has been nothing but a scapegoat for Caps fans and non-fans alike, for all the playoff eliminations and foiled championship attempts.

With a Stanley Cup Final win, Ovechkin can live up to his hype and finally have his name etched on the Cup.

In Vegas, former Penguins starting goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has three championships. But he was cast aside last year for Matt Murray and left exposed in the expansion draft. Fleury was also the patsy for the failures from the Penguins in 2010-2013. Another Stanley Cup Final win, and a possible Conn Smythe trophy, would complete the redemption Fleury desires.

Honestly, Ovi wins it here. Ovechkin is a championship-type player on a team that hasn’t been to the finals for 20 years. Fleury lost his job fair and square and has three Stanley Cups. He’ll be OK without another.

Finally, there are the fan bases.

The Capitals are long-time rivals of the Penguins. It is also very much Pittsburgh culture to make fun of Ovi for being the inferior Russian to our very own Evgeni Malkin. If the Caps win, Pittsburgh won’t be able to mock him for his lack of a Cup anymore. And what happens then? Who do we make fun of then? Pittsburgh may collapse.

If Vegas wins, pretty much everyone will be a little mad. There are former Pens on that team, but come on, Vegas just started its team. I think that the Caps’ 44-year drought sort of trumps that, although it would be cool to see a team win its inaugural season.

Honestly this is the hardest decision out of all of them. The Caps deserve to win it. But also it would be amazing to experience a new team winning in its inaugural season. However, the Capitals have worked hard and long for this opportunity and they deserve to take it all.

Follow this guide and the Stanley Cup Finals don’t have to be boring. And you won’t have to flip the channel over to Pirates baseball.