Well, it sucks that we’re at this point of the season, but honestly, should we really be surprised at this point? Come on, it’s the Leafs, they’re only allowed to play one playoff series a year at most, so once the first one is done, that’s it for us.

So, with the Leafs out of the way, some fans will still want to watch the playoffs, and even have a rooting interest for some of the teams. While my rooting interests usually stem through some combination of my bracket, a team’s cup drought, if a team has even won the cup, and sometimes if they have players that I’d like to see win one. Others like to cheer for another Canadian team because for some reason they think a Canadian team winning the Cup is good for Canada even though usually they don’t have a lot of Canadians.

And sometimes, people don’t know who to cheer for, which is why I give you this extremely comprehensive guide to picking a new team for the playoffs, where I’ll give you a reason you should cheer for them, and you can go from there at your own discretion.

Philadelphia Flyers

It’d be pretty nice to see Oskar Lindblom and Nolan Patrick win Cups after the year they’ve gone through. Also, JVR is on the Flyers again, so seeing him win it would be cool as well.

Tampa Bay Lightning

As a Leafs fan, it’s kind of heart-breaking to see the stuff they have to go through every year when they are always the de facto Cup contender. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very “first world problems” in comparison to the Leafs, but you still hate to see it.

Also, maybe winning it will get them to stop trying so hard and the Leafs can fill the void in the future.

Washington Capitals


Carolina Hurricanes

On top of them continuing to be a fun team, they’re also loaded with players to cheer for from a Leafs perspective, like former beloved goalie James Reimer, former controversial defenseman Jake Gardiner, former Leafs traded draft pick Dougie Hamilton, former Leafs trade rumour Brett Pesce, and former Marlies zamboni driver David Ayres.

New York Islanders

It’s the least we can do after they gave us their franchise center for nothing AND took our past his prime GM off our hands.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Even though they did just beat us, it was mostly due to luck, so it’s not something I’m overly bitter about and probably won’t hold against the franchise or it’s fans. And hey, if they win the Cup, we lost to the Cup champs, so we’d have that *cries for another day*.

Montreal Canadiens

I guess the chaos of a 12th seeded team winning the Cup would be funny, and it would certainly help league revenue (which means less cap hell for the Leafs), but let’s be honest, this team doesn’t need any more Cups for another 100 years or so.

Vegas Golden Knights

Aside from them being a really good and fun team to watch, you should also root for them because of the bravery of Ryan Reaves for kneeling for the national anthem last week, and Robin Lehner’s ability to grow as a person and support his teammate.

Colorado Avalanche

Speaking of fun teams to watch, this team is *really* fun to watch, between the loaded top line of Landeskog, MacKinnon, and Rantanen, Cale Makar on the blue line, and it’d also be pretty great to see Nazem Kadri win a Stanley Cup as well.

Dallas Stars

Like Reaves and Lehner on the Golden Knights, the Stars also have a couple people in Tyler Seguin and Jason Dickinson who I respect for stepping up and supporting Reaves as he knelt for the national anthem, so there’s some rooting interest there.

St. Louis Blues

It’d be cool to see them go back to back, but also another Cup would probably raise Pietrangelo’s asking price, and we want to sign him on the off chance he’ll take league minimum *cries in cap hell*

Vancouver Canucks

The farther this team goes, the more likely they are to keep Jim Benning around, and chaos may continue to reign supreme.

Calgary Flames

While I don’t like cheering for Canadian teams because I want the Leafs to end the Canadian team Cup drought, if one team had to, I’d rather it be Calgary since their fans are easily the best of the Canadian teams.

Arizona Coyotes

It’s been more than three years since Phil Kessel last one, I think he deserves another one, don’t you say? Also, as a Taylor Hall fan, I’d like to see him finally succeed.

Chicago Blackhawks

See: Montreal Canadiens.