The NHL is now down to eight hockey teams competing in the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Here is who I'm rooting for.
Washington Capitals versus Pittsburgh Penguins. Of all the teams remaining, my strongest rooting interest is with the Washington Capitals. My favorite cousin lives in the Washington DC area, and I love that he's gotten the bug of playoff ice hockey. The other side of the story is that my sister-in-law hails from Pittsburgh, and she'll post pictures of her little son in Pittsburgh gear. These teams are famous, they've got big names (Ovechkin and Crosby) and because I have this dual-family thing going, I can't lose!
Tampa Bay Lightning versus New York Islanders. My former ice hockey coach lives in Tampa. Originally from Massachusetts, he grew tired of the New England winters, and headed South. I see his posts attending TB games and wearing TB gear, and if a team is good enough for coach, they're good enough for me! (I did grow up in NJ in the 70s, so I witnessed the dynasty of the NY Islanders. Mike Bossy was one of my favorite players from childhood.)
San Jose Sharks versus Nashville Predators. Many years ago I was on a business trip in San Jose, and on a lark I went to a Sharks game one evening. I rooted for the Sharks then, and I root for them now, from afar. The Sharks seem to always be on the verge, and perhaps this is their year. I also like Joe Thornton, who played for the Bruins (my home team) in his early career.
Dallas Stars versus St. Louis Blues. I'm going with the St. Louis Blues. A good college friend of mine lives in St. Louis, and they're like the Sharks: always on the verge. Dallas does have Tyler Seguin, who spent a few years with the Bruins in his early career. The management deemed Seguin a flash in the pan, but he's doing good things with Dallas. We'll see if he can get it done!