It’s that special time of the year again, where the only thing that matters is which team is the first to get to 16 wins. Unfortunately, for Carolina Hurricanes fans, their favorite team did not make the post-season again, but everybody needs a team to root for and there are plenty of options for Canes fans depending on what their preference of teams are.
Former Hurricanes Players
If you enjoy cheering for the players that used to wear the red and white, there is no better team than the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens added Jussi Jokinen at the trade deadline and received Brandon Sutter in the Jordan Staal trade at the 2012 NHL Draft. Both of those players are former fan-favorites and left the team on good terms. Also don’t forget Craig Adams, who was originally drafted by the Hartford Whalers organization and played parts of seven seasons in Raleigh.
It looked like the New York Islanders would never make it back to the playoffs. The last time the team made it to the post-season was in the 2006-07 season and since then could not escape the bottom of the standings every year. But this season, everything went right for the Islanders. John Tavares played so well he drew Hart Trophy consideration and lead the Islanders into the playoffs. Despite being able to pull off what no one imagined, the Islanders will play the toughest opponent in the Eastern Conference, the Penguins. Hurricanes fans can relate the 2006 Stanley Cup winning team to the young, scrappy Islanders team that finally made it back to the playoffs.
The Under-performing Veteran Team
The San Jose Sharks have been so close to the Stanley Cup for so long now, but still cannot get over the hump. Unfortunately for them, the team is getting older. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau will be 34-years-old this summer, while Dan Boyle is three years older than the two forwards. The Sharks and mainly Thornton have taken a lot of heat over the years for their inability to live up to expectations and this season may be one of the last for the team to make it to the finals. There are no former Hurricanes players on the Sharks roster, but there is no bad blood between the two teams, given that they play in two different conferences.