Playoffs — the Cigars and Legs Way

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While we here at Cigars and Legs are big fans of most sports and other forms of competition, one of our favorite is the sport of hockey. Partially because it’s the craziest sport — men hit a piece of rubber around with sticks, all the while skating on ice. It has a certain level of impressiveness to it. A rough sport with a certain level of grace. We like that.

Also, the playoffs are one of the more entertaining forms of playoffs in sports. Sixteen teams, best of seven series’, all for the one trophy in major professional sports that isn’t new each year: It’s the same Stanley Cup (at least of the current iteration), and it carries the names of the past winners (up to a certain number). That’s pretty neat in and of itself.

Coming into the sport without a geographically close team to root for has also given quite the… opportunity to enjoy it based purely on talent. Admittedly, there are certain teams that have captured a particular interest. And this year, in addition to all six of the Original Six getting in, all four of the teams that have come to mean something to us have made it in:

Washington, because the former coach of our local minor-league team, and the one coach to lead them to the championship, coached there for a while. It was as close of a geographic tie as we could find; since, we’ve come to want to see the team in general succeed. Now, he’s left and coaches in…

Anaheim, which in addition to being home to Bruce Boudreau, is also home to Teemu Selanne, the Finnish Flash and an all around entertaining and great player. The tie here is mostly a desire to see Bruce get his first Stanley Cup, after capturing the Kelly and Calder Cups at lower leagues. Unfortunately, in the first round they play…

Detroit, who we like purely based on the players, past and present, who have suited up for them. If not for the divisional rivalry with Washington, we’d be all in favor of a team like Tampa, which is now home to a former Redwing as the GM.

Boston, who is last but not least, first captured our attention thanks to the heroics of a guy named Tim Thomas, who has since left the sport on a temporary basis. He no longer plays for them, but as with Detroit and Washington, watching these players give their all has given us a certain desire to see them succeed. Especially given the general coolness of a team using a Celtic Wheel on their jerseys, and our general fascination with Boston sports teams.

Doesn’t do us any good without enemies, and there are many:

Pittsburgh, because of their rivalry with Washington, and their employ of a man named Matt Cooke.
Philly, because, well, Philly. They did not make playoffs, however.
New York (Rangers), because of their playoff back and forth with the Capitals.
Montreal, because they’re freaking Montreal and they are the primary rival of the Boston Bruins.
Vancouver, because oh my word they are an irritating team with a nearly as irritating fan base. Sorry, setting cop cars on fire isn’t cool.
Chicago, mostly because we’re sick of hearing about them.