Who Should You Root for in the Stanley Cup Finals? A Handy-Dandy Guide

As of this writing, the Pittsburgh Penguins lead the San Jose Sharks 2-1 in the Stanley Cup Finals. But many casual hockey fans haven’t made up their minds about which teams to support. There’s still time! I’m here to help.

If you’re a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins or San Jose Sharks, the choice is easy. But what about the rest of the world? What about the casual fan, the fan whose team is eliminated? What about the non-fan, who’s bored and can’t find the remote? What about the college student with little to keep him occupied after finals besides Colorado’s legal weed and Photoshopping Donald Trump’s face onto creamsicles?

Based on stereotypes about the teams—the most accurate and scientific assessment of who these teams are—I can project which team you should cheer for based solely on your occupation!

Civil War Re-Enactor: It’s actually just a hobby, but you always wished there was more you could do with your fine arts degree and that beard. Well, if something historic happens and the Sharks win, there may be a future in re-enacting the event. Pull for the Sharks, and start grooming yourself to play Brent Burns in the musical by never shaving again.

Medical Doctor: The frequency with which Pittsburgh Penguins players sustain injuries should be a boon for your business. However, they’ll be injured, win or lose. The real reason here is that Penguins fans are also prone to soft-tissue injuries: cartilage tears from post-goal fist pumps are common. Should Pittsburgh win, the ER will overflow, according to amateur medical experts in Philadelphia and Washington DC.

Mayor of San Jose:  This is a surprisingly tricky one. You have to make the standard, milquetoast beer bet with the mayor of the opposing team’s city. It’s low stakes, no one notices, and you get to be [business-friendly municipal descriptor here] and [jerking motion in the direction of your fundraising manager here]. Of course, you didn’t listen, and you don’t know the actual bet. You just want whatever needs to happen so you get a free six-pack.

Hot Dog Vendor: There’s no question here. If Pittsburgh wins, we’ll all be celebrating Phil Kessel’s victory over former Maple Leafs front-office cronies Dave Nonis, Randy Carlyle, and the entire collective media of Toronto. The only way to celebrate a Kessel victory is with a hot dog!

Los Angeles Kings Fan: The Pittsburgh Penguins, but not because the Sharks are your rival and knocked the Kings out of the playoffs. It’s because the even more-hated Anaheim Ducks traded away Carl Hagelin to Pittsburgh in a terrible trade, and it would feel amazing for that trade to go so far south. The guy leaves, and is immediately part of Pittsburgh’s Cup win. Meanwhile, the Ducks got David Perron, who is a free agent now, and Adam Clendening, who is in Edmonton. Seriously, go Pens.

Head Coach of the St. Louis Blues: Like Lucas in Empire Records, you’re hoping you can make this shit happen right before the store closes. If the Sharks win the Cup, at least you can tell your boss your season ended because you lost to the future Stanley Cup champions. That doesn’t count for much, but it might help you keep your job.

Commissioner of the NHL: A team. You want a team to win. If no team wins, that sucks. But a team is good. Despite the drunken ravings of everyone who watches the game thinking that the commissioner hates their team and just want hockey to thrive in [insert the city you hate here] or only wants [player you hate] to succeed and that’s why they’re never suspended and everything is made so easy for them, the league officials want a team to win the Cup. There are advantages to every scenario, and if the Penguins happen to win, well, that’s just the way the loaded dice fall.

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Dustin Nelson is a hockey writer based in New York City. You should follow him on Twitter.