DKM Hockey Podcast

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Deep Thoughts by CBJ Nation: 2014 Stanley Cup Finals

Conflicted as a Columbus Blue Jackets fan on how to watch the 2014 Stanley Cup Final?  Well, TJ Nocar of CBJ Nation asked if he could post his thoughts on the DKM Blog.  Gladly, we agreed.  Here are Deep Thoughts from the mind of the man behind @CBJ_Nation:

I'm TJ Nocar and I hope you are prepared for my complete thoughts on this years Stanley Cup Finals. I promise to keep it short, sweet (sort of) and to the point, but bear with me if I stray off from time to time.

This years SCF between the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings features 7 players and 1 coach, all with former ties to the Columbus Blue Jackets. I will break down both teams, what my reasons would be for rooting against them and then choose who I want to see win the Stanley Cup. So without further adieu, I present the Los Angeles Kings.

The Los Angeles Kings find themselves in the Stanley Cup finals for the second time in 3 years. They won the cup during the 2011-2012 season. Last year, they were beat out, by the eventual champions, Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals with a team very similar to the one they have now, with one exception.

Going back in time for a moment, I take you to the trade deadline in 2012. The Blue Jackets made a huge deal in sending Jeff Carter (who couldn't be more ready to get out of Columbus after a short stint with the team) to the Kings for Jack Johnson. Blue Jackets fans despised Carter for this move and then watched him hoist the cup shortly after. He, to this day, is in the Top-3 most hated former Blue Jackets players.
Fast forward to the trade deadline of 2014. Spending the majority of the 2013-2014 season injured, Marian Gaborik (acquired from the NY Rangers in the previous season) was dealt to the Kings for a non-factor forward and draft pick(s). This frustrated fans because Gaborik wanted to be here, we wanted him, but he simply didn't work out, thus ending the Gaborik era in Columbus. Since then, he's been scoring like crazy, leading the NHL in playoff goals this year, 12 to be exact which is more than he tallied in his time with the Blue Jackets.

Here are the downsides to the Los Angeles Kings winning the Stanley Cup:
1) We still hate Jeff Carter
2) Jeff Carter wins a second cup
3) We send LA another superstar that helps win them a Stanley Cup

Next, we have the New York Rangers. Based on previous performances, I don't believe many people expected them to actually make it to the finals. It has been some ridiculous amount of years since they last played for a Stanley Cup. They made some big moves this year, sending captain Ryan Callahan to Tampa Bay for an older, but still talented Martin St. Louis. This paid off, as St. Louis had a huge overtime goal for the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Canadiens.

This is where it gets painful. The Blue Jackets traded their captain Rick Nash to the Rangers during the 2012 offseason. They got quite a return in the likes of Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov. Then, the Blue Jackets traded Derek Dorsett, Derick Brassard and John Moore to the Rangers for Marian Gaborik at the 2013 trade deadline. This effectively meant we traded Nash for Gaborik, with the others being footnote deals.

Since then, Nash has battles concussions and issues with his scoring game, Brassard is blossoming, Dorsett is still a goon and Moore is getting suspended for being a "headhunter". There's no doubt that Columbus remembers all of the good Nash did for the city and team, but certainly will never forget his request for a trade. It places him, like Carter, in the Top-3 most hated former Blue Jackets players, Adam Foote being the other.
Rick Nash, for Columbus, is kind of like Lebron James for Cleveland (sorta). Nobody REALLY wants to see him win a cup before the Blue Jackets do, or at least a fair amount of us Columbus fans. While his exit from Columbus wasn't nationally televised on ESPN (who never really cares about hockey anyways) or stated he was taking his talents to broadway, many Blue Jackets fans will never forget their captain leaving them for dead.

One last footnote about the Rangers is this. Scott Arniel was a former head coach of the Blue Jackets, and coaches us during, arguably, the worst season in franchise history. It only seams fitting that he coached both Carter and Nash, and is now part of the Rangers coaching staff. I thank him for getting fired, as it allowed us to hire Todd Richards, but I still don't t many in Columbus want to see him winning a cup.

Here are the downsides of the New York Rangers winning the Stanley Cup:
1) Rick Nash gets a cup before the Blue Jackets
2) They are division rivals and will rub it in our faces all season

3) He pushed our goalie in the face...
Now it's time for me to decide exactly who is the lesser of two evils. Nobody in the states REALLY wants to see a Canadian team win the cup or a Blackhawks repeat, but why couldn't those two being playing? Some say that if the Rangers win, it will silence critics who were so brutal towards the Metropolitan division all season long. Hey, we have a team playing for the cup right? I don't think they have any room to talk about our division anymore, so forget that point.

While I still have a strong disliking for the frosty tipped wonder in LA (Jeff Carter), my hatred for the Rangers and the fact that Rick Nash pushed Bobrovsky in the face trumps all. Besides, Marian Gaborik is a class act and deserves a ring and a chance to hoist that glorious cup before his career is over. The only thing that remains to be said is, "Go Kings Go!"

How can you hate the LA Kings with such an awesome twitter account? Besides the Blue Jackets, they are the best out there. Oh, and I didn't forget about Stralman. It's just that nobody seems to talk about him when it comes to former Blue Jackets anyways.

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