(Photos by Caps Outsider) It was all about the fans Saturday night...
Sick of the Caps? Try Cheering for These Teams
Semin disappears in the playoffs. Ovechkin isn’t captain material. Fire Boudreau!
Caps fans have heard these and other less-intelligent criticisms over and over again, while enduring years of disappointment. But too often, fans don’t look on the bright side of things, like the fact that the Caps consistently make the playoffs, and are one of the best teams in the league during the regular season.
And that there are more teams than not that would happy to just make it to the first round.
So count yourself lucky that you’re not trudging along with one of these teams. And if you do, well, winning a game is all the more exciting!
Toronto Maple Leafs
There’s not much to be said here that hasn’t been said before. Leafs fans are notorious for their obnoxious optimism.
They haven’t won the Cup since 1967, haven’t been to the Finals since 1967, and haven’t been in the playoffs for six years in a row. They’re also the only Original Six team to have not won a Cup since the expansion, and as of Chicago’s win last year, have become the franchise with the longest Cup drought. Yet they still act as if the championship is right around the corner.
At the beginning of this year, there was the usual amount of sucking that we expected, but then Phil Kessel and James Reimer decided to start playing and the parade plans were back on.
The playoff race lasted until the very last minute despite the cluster of teams that had a better chance at the eighth spot. Finally, Toronto fans were forced back to reality where they must settle with waffles and Boston’s first round pick.
And hey, there’s still Brett Lebda!
Columbus Blue Jackets
I like Rick Nash, I really do. He has an awesome name, he’s a great player and is very loyal, but the Blue Jackets suck. Given they are a relatively young franchise, you would still think that they could make the playoffs more than once in 11 years. They have had to compete with the powerhouses of the Western conference, but if there’s any progress to be seen, some changes are going to have to be made. Changes that don’t appear to be coming anytime soon.
It doesn’t help that, well, there don’t seem to be that many Blue Jackets fans. The franchise lost $14 million between the 2008 and 2009 seasons, with an estimated $25 million in 2010. Attendance ran an average of 13,350 officially this year, which really worked for Penguins’ fans.
So, being a Yotes fan is probably a bit better now, but I would imagine years of grief, both past and future, overshadows most of that. And I hear Quebec City has a new arena…
Phoenix fans have had to deal with the wrath of Canada since they first got their team, piled on by years of let-downs and consistent instability. Captain and top player, Shane Doan, has never had a hat-trick in 14 years of NHL play. Ilya Bryzgalov, while a good enough goalie, has received nowhere near the support required to get past the first round.
And just when things seem to be coming together financially, politics enter and make everything that much more frustrating.
New York Islanders
Whatever the Islanders were doing in the 1980s, they’ve clearly forgotten. The team has barely touched the playoffs since their dominant years and have become the laughing stock of the league.
Still recovering from enemy-to-the-blog Mike Milbury, the Islanders have been further cursed by the burden of Rick DiPietro who is just the tip of the bad-decision pile. The Islanders theoretically could be employing Roberto Luongo, Olli Jokinen, Zdeno Chara, Tim Connolly, and Taylor Pyatt among others if not for superstars like Oleg Kvasha.
Instead, John Tavares has been submerged in sea of sub-par. Michael Grabner‘s Calder Trophy performance and Jack Capuano‘s coaching success seemed to be a part of a turning tide with Islanders, but the blemishes of the Dwayne Roloson trade, the Pittsburgh games, the Chris Botta affair, the Nabakov embarrassment and the dwindling attendance don’t bode well for the future.
Every team has it’s ups and downs, but these teams can’t seem to avoid the negativity. By virtue of time, every city should have it’s trials and its success; so whenever someone talks about the Caps playoff disappointments, be grateful it isn’t 1974.