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The Stanley Cup Playoffs are in full swing, and they remind me of a conversation I had with a Canadian on a ski lift in Canada a few months ago. He turned to me, an American, and told me two things: one, all of Canada collectively blames (or congratulates) the entire U.S. population for Trump, and two, that all professional hockey teams south of Philadelphia are a crime against humanity. As much as I hate to go against the wise words of my Canadian cable lift elder (just kidding), I’m spending these playoffs rooting for the Nashville Predators — and you should be too.
Nashville started the improbable post-season run by sweeping the perennial favorite and tryhard Chicago Blackhawks in the opening round, so that should automatically make you love them. In addition, every national anthem at Predators home games this postseason has been sung live by famous country recording artists. If those facts didn’t turn you into a Preds fan instantaneously, consider this: who else are you going to root for?
The Rangers? That’s cool, if you like your team’s star player being 5’7″.
The Washington Capitals? They’re all but eliminated. Plus, we all know Alex Ovechkin’s a secret communist.
The Anaheim Ducks are still in it, but any team that owes their existence to a Disney movie does not deserve to exist in the first place.
Pittsburgh? What are you, a bandwagon bitch?
A Canadian team? Obviously not. That only leaves the Preds.
The Predators possess two human weapons of mass destruction in their arsenal. First, there’s Carrie Underwood, wife of Predator’s captain Mike Fisher. Carrie’s mere presence all but precedes postseason success for our dudes in Nashville. Second, there’s defenseman P.K. Subban. Not only is the latter an amazingly talented hockey player and incredibly charitable guy, Subban is also a guy who seems like you’d have such a great time drinking with that you’d both wake up the next morning remembering nothing and finding out you stole a Maserati and accidentally kidnapped Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
If you needed any other reason to root for Smashville at this point, think of the postgame celebration. Instead of taking the greatest trophy in sports to some frozen, all-but-deserted Canadian city for a celebration, the cup would go down Broadway in Nashville, stopping for a drink in every honky-tonk along the way in a scene that sounds like something out of a Canadian country song I’m slightly upset doesn’t exist.
If the Preds end the season without the franchise’s first Stanley Cup, we should all be disappointed. It’s a feel-good Cinderella story that drunken hockey fans like me typically can only dream of. God bless the sport of hockey, and god bless the Nashville Predators (but mostly Carrie Underwood)..
Image via YouTube