Over the years we have created a Northwest-centric rooting guide for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. In prior seasons we would breakdown all the teams with players that had ties to the area, like if they were born or raised in the Northwest or even if they played part of their junior career in the region. This year is different though. We have a team and a legitimate rooting interest for other NHL teams to do… well… poorly.
With the Seattle Kraken fan bias, I offer you up the official Kraken fans’ rooting guide for the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The rankings are listed from teams we are rooting against (No. 16) to the teams we are rooting to win the Stanley Cup (No. 1).
16. Nashville Predators
Reasons to root against them: As much as it pains me to say, the Predators are a team we Kraken fans will want to lose in the first round. The Kraken traded away Jeremy Lauzon to Nashville for their second-round draft pick for the upcoming 2022 NHL Entry Draft. If they go out in the first round, that draft pick will become the 49th overall draft pick. But if the Preds go on and win the Stanley Cup, it becomes the 64th pick overall. Shea Weber, Mike Cammalleri, and Roope Hintz were all selected 49th overall.
Reasons to root for them: Nashville is a fun city to follow in the playoffs. Their run in 2017 was one of the most exciting playoff runs in recent memory. Smashing cars, a packed Broadway, and Catfish Jake could all make a cameo in a Nashville playoff run.
15. Toronto Maple Leafs
Reasons to root against them: Like the reason we are rooting against Nashville, the Kraken acquired three draft picks from the Leafs at the trade deadline when they sent the first Seattle Kraken captain, Mark Giordano, and Colin Blackwell to Toronto. The Kraken own the Leafs’ second-round draft pick in the upcoming 2022 NHL Entry Draft. A first-round exit could mean that pick becomes as low as 53rd versus 64th in the case they win the Stanley Cup. The other two picks are for 2023 (second round) and 2024 (third round).
Reasons to root for them: Giordano was a great player for the Kraken, and he is your classic “old guy without a Cup.” To see former Kraken players make a deep playoff run sounds kind of fun.
14. Florida Panthers
Reasons to root against them: Calgary traded a second-round pick that they acquired from Florida to Seattle in the Calle Jarnkrok trade. Even if Florida were to lose in the first round, the lowest that pick would be is 56 overall.
Reasons to root for them: If the Panthers go on a run, maybe we can see it rain rats in South Florida.
13. Calgary Flames
Reasons to root against them: In the same Jarnkrok trade, the Flames also traded their fourth-round draft pick to Seattle. Fourth-round picks are a little more hit and miss compared to a second-round pick, but still the earlier Calgary loses the better the pick.
Reasons to root for them: While an earlier exit means a better pick, the opposite is also true. The better the Flames do, the deeper they will select, including for their first-round draft pick. So it might be worth it to see them succeed, knowing that their draft position will be worse off for it. Plus, we really liked Jarnkrok and would love to see him succeed.
12. Washington Capitals
Reasons to root against them: Closing out the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline deals, the Kraken traded Marcus Johansson for a fourth-round draft pick to the Capitals. An early exit for the Caps will mean that pick gets better for the Kraken.
Reasons to root for them: It is very easy to root for Mt. Vernon-born and Seattle Junior alum TJ Oshie in the playoffs. Heck, if the Caps win the Cup, hopefully he considers bringing it to the Puget Sound instead of Warroad this time.
11. Carolina Hurricanes
Reasons to root against them: It really comes down to how they treated John Forslund. Is this a good reason to actively root against a franchise? We don’t know, but we don’t care… Down with the Canes.
Reasons to root for them: Well, the team is darn fun for a bunch of jerks. Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, and friend of the pod, Seth Jarvis are exciting players to watch, and the thought of a potential Freddie Andersen facing off against the Toronto Maple Leafs sounds compelling to us.
10. St. Louis Blues
Reasons to root against them: There’s no real reason to root against the Blues other than they have won a Stanley Cup recently, and they were not very nice to us Kraken fans when they visited Climate Pledge Arena in January.
Reasons to root for them: Vladimir Tarasenko seems like a very likable guy, and he is having a terrific season for the Blues. We would also like to see what Ryan O’Reilly could come up with if he wins another cup.
9. Pittsburgh Penguins
Reasons to root against them: I am sure there are a few Sidney Crosby haters still out there, but unless you are from the DC Metro or the western Pennsylvania area, there is not a whole lot to hate in Pittsburgh these days.
Reasons to root for them: It would be fun to see future Seattle Kraken player Bryan Rust win a Cup*. Just think what that will do for Seattle’s locker room next year.
8. New York Rangers
Reasons to root against them: I really hate when the narrative is that the NHL wants the big market teams to make the Stanley Cup Final. I simply do not want to hear that blabber so an early exit would put that commentary to bed in a heartbeat.
Reasons to root for them: “The NHL would love to see the Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final.”
7. Minnesota Wild
Reasons to root against them: Just think how much Minn-utiae we would hear on the Sound Of Hockey Podcast from @DarrenFunBrown.
Reasons to root for them: They are fun, exciting, and I am pretty sure there is not a more likeable player in the league than Marc-Andre Fleury. Would be fun to see him hoist the Cup one more time, regardless of how much he ends up playing.
6. Edmonton Oilers
Reasons to root against them: For the chaos. An early exit will produce so many bad takes on what is “wrong with the Edmonton Oilers” (Exhibit A, B, and C) that it will provide hours of comedy, and who knows, maybe Connor McDavid will demand a trade. Plus, we aren’t huge Evander Kane fans.
Reasons to root for them: McDavid is still one of the most exciting players in the game, and it seems like we could get an Oilers-Flames conference semi-final matchup that would be entertaining to say the least.
5. Los Angeles Kings
Reasons to root against them: They are a Kraken division rival and are primed to be a powerhouse in the next couple years.
Reasons to root for them: They are a Kraken division rival and are primed to be a powerhouse in the next couple years. Any success in the playoffs this year will push their 2022 draft picks down the selection order.
4. Boston Bruins
Reasons to root against them: I think the city of Boston has won enough over the last 20 years don’t you think?
Reasons to root for them: The Bruins’ first-round draft pick this year belongs to the Anaheim Ducks, so much like the Kraken second-round picks, the better the Bruins do, the later the pick. If the Bruins do win the Cup, their first-round draft pick that now belongs to the Ducks will be the last selection in the first round.
3. Dallas Stars
Reasons to root against them: Is the fact that they play a lot of metal in the arena a good enough reason to root against them? OK, we gotta come clean here, we could not come up with a decent reason to root against them.
Reasons to root for them: They are playing Calgary in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and they have an “old man without a Cup” in Joe Pavelski.
2. Colorado Avalanche
Reasons to root against them: Can we just assume that Nazem Kadri will do some predatorial hit on somebody in the playoffs that will make him a heel to hockey fans outside of Colorado (Exhibits A, B, and C)?
Reasons to root for them: Seeing a fully operational lineup with healthy Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen sounds like must-watch hockey.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
Reasons to root against them: They have won the last two Stanley Cups.
Reasons to root for them: They play the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round.
We hope this helps guide your rooting interests throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and if you have a different take on why or why not root for a team, please leave a note in the comments section of this post.
Enjoy the Stanley Cup Playoffs!!!