Gleason doing his best Reddit "Not bad" face.

I’m in a good mood today, so please excuse the negative topic, but this is always fun to discuss: when you sit down to watch hockey at night, there are certain teams you just don’t care to see, correct? You can’t help who those teams are, you just…don’t find them fun to watch.

That’s just a sports reality. We all have our preferences, whether those are rooted in geography, nationality or just because your Dad forced you to cheer for the same teams he did as a kid.

The following list is mine and mine alone, but I’m willing to bet there’s some overlap with some of you out there. Without further ado, the five teams that make me want to flip channels.

***

 #5 The Nashville Predators

This one is largely rooted in geography, of course. If I were from the area, I’d be ecstactic to have a team, not to mention a damn good one. It’s rare to have a quality team this high on a list like this, but man….

I could do without watching a team with equally distributed talent playing a solid system and just repeatedly gettin’ er done on good coaching and playing the right way. I mean, there’s something noble in that, but entertainment value? Yeah, no.

Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Pekka Rinne are all stars in this league, but they’re also all defensive players, which, again, is respectable and great and all that, but rarely pulls you out of your seat. I’m just sayin’, I don’t set my DVR for Preds games. They’re robots, and I’m against the robot uprising.

(Note: I do watch all these teams play from time to time just to have some idea what I’m talking about. Those nights are not my favourites.)

***

 #4 The Minnesota Wild

Here’s the thing: I love Minnesota, the Twin Cities in particular. I love the Xcel Energy Center, I love the fans, blah blah blah. I truly do.

But those green and red jerseys man… I just hate them so much it’s incredible.

To top that off, their years and years of unparalleled mediocrity are draining. At least watching the Isles for years I’ve got to see about 15 breakaways (against) per game because they’ve been truly terrible. The Wild are always just….there. They’ve been beige on skates. The addition of Heatley was moderately interesting from a star power perspective, but the many years of like…Andrew Brunette has just soured me on them. Sorry Wild fans.

***

 #3 The Calgary Flames

I’ve never liked the Flames, for reasons I’m not exactly sure. But this year in particular I find them the appeal of Flames games to be on par with eating a bowl of Glassios.

Their biggest star, Jarome Iginla, has a good shot. But I’m not hanging around waiting for one or two of those, I’ll catch it on the highlights. Next is….Jokinen? Jay Bouwmeester? Lee Stempniak? There’s just nothing to be excited about with that roster (though they are “going for it” according to their GM).

I guess they do have Cammalleri now, so maybe I’ll give them another chance, but like they Wild, it’s been a good five years of “meh” hockey for the Flames.

***

 #2 The Columbus Blue Jackets

I have nothing against the Blue Jackets. Sadly, I have nothing against the Blue Jackets because they haven’t really mattered much. That hurts, fans, I know, but I think you’d acknowledge that, yes?

They stay out of first by virtue of me being a big fan of Rick Nash, and I like that they grabbed Carter and Wisniewski this year.

But after that, there’s just no “wow” factor. Thery’re just players, players with unfamiliar numbers (after 61), no 87 or 68 or 91. NHL players maybe, but the type that make you go “he’s still in the NHL, hey? I can’t remember the last time they gave a non-Columbus fan a reason to go “oooo, that CBJ game is on tonight.” I can’t think of plenty of years they’ve given a non-Columbus fan a reason not to watch.

***

 #1 The Carolina Hurricanes

My dislike for the Hurricanes just sort of grew out of nowhere, without there really being any “Big Bang” moments. They just get under my skin.

I dislike their jerseys. Having Eric Staal as your star player means that your star player is Eric Staal (good player with low-watt-lightbulb level electricity), which means that the other guys on your team (save for Jeff Skinner) are less interesting to watch than Eric Staal.

Save for their Stanley  Cup year (which was out of left field), it feels like they’re constantly a non-contending non-playoff team. They’re the wrestler whose job it is to make the star look good (after a quick Google search, that makes them “Jabronis,” apparently). I associate the team with names like Tim Brent, Patrick Dwyer, Jay Harrison and a others that make you go… Y’know, I think I’ll go watch an Oilers game or something.

***

 Sorry about that guys, I hope you don’t take it too personally. Just for me – an Islanders fan living in Phoenix from Canada…I’ve got my biases.

Did I miss anyone? Who’s on your “no thanks” list?

Comments (49)

  1. “Beige on skates.” Nice.

    • So you enjoyed the hell out of that Wild/Preds game last night, did ya? :D Yeah, me neither.

      Can’t argue on much of it at all. Other than at least with the Canes, I’ll sometimes watch because a) nothing else is on and b) they are a very attractive group of boys. I wouldn’t expect you to adopt those reasons as your own, of course.

      Jackets are my #1 meh team. Florida and Tampa are in there, too, just because… meh. I don’t even care enough to come up with a good reason.

    • Oops, didn’t mean to single you out by replying to you Ross, but yeah. Beige on skates, if you don’t have a reason to love them (which most don’t), is pretty accurate.

  2. Y’know, I think I’ll go watch an Oilers game or something. LOL

  3. Yep, nicely done Justin. Well written, entertaining read.

    I find watching hockey (when I don’t have a vested rooting interest) soothing, so I’ll pretty much watch any team (and find a way to make it more interesting mentally that just having background noise on while I fold laundry).

  4. From Minnesota fans everywhere, you are forgiven. Most people don’t like the Wild. Hell, most Wild fans don’t even like the Wild. Maybe next year with Granlund…

    The one thing you cannot be forgiven for… ” I associate the team with names like Tim Brent, Patrick Dwyer, Jay Harrison and a others that make you go… Y’know, I think I’ll go watch an Oilers game or something.”

    No one should watch an Oilers game. Ever. Better to just cut your eyes out with a rusty spork.

  5. Reasons to not watch the Islanders:

    -The 3rd jersey. I do not think I exaggerate in saying that if it’s not the worst, it’s in the top 5 of horrific jerseys in use.
    - The camera angle when they’re home. The camera is on the blue line, and really disorients me to the play when I try to watch.
    - No compelling story line. Outside of maybe playing the “Guess who is in net tonight” game, I suppose.

    Sorry, but they belong in my top 5 for sure.

    • Yeah I get that but Isles stay out of the top 5 becuse of Tavares – kid is a BEAST playing off the charts lately… only 1 game in Jan without a point and almost a 2pt per game pace…
      Makes them instanlty not worst 5 to watch… still in the bottom 10, but those 5 are worse.
      Jerseys are horrable, but they are thirds so they are only seen 15 times a season…

      • Justin talked about the stars on the teams on the list. Not to take anything away from Tavares, absolutely a great player, but that only gets the team so far. I will mention that Grabner is fun to watch, too, great set of wheels, but it’s not enough, for me.

        • You cannot flip the channel on the Isles. You never know what the next drama will be. And even if there is none the games are, in general, high paced.

          And how the Devils are not on the list is beyond me. The puck never leaves the neutral zone.

    • Isles have exciting up n comers, led by J.T… claps

  6. In no particular order:

    Carolina, Calgary, Florida (of Ft Lauderdale), Minnesota (even though I love hearing from Friends back home telling me they’re so fun to watch/good), Islanders (over hyped team, if they were in the West, they’d be Columbus’ twin brother)

    Skirting the above teams are definitely: Columbus, even though I get to watch them 6 times a year (3 times live), they always seem to play dirty against St Louis, and a few other teams, racking up the PIM’s…

    Nashville: Outside of Carrie Underwood, I mean what else would you show up for at a Pred’s game??

  7. You should not mention that you are against robot uprisings, especially only a computer.

    When the robots do revolt against mankind you know they will be going through all the digital records to eliminate the anti-robot humans first.

    On that basis….. I love robots

  8. No one should ever watch the Nashville Predators at home without adjusting the contrast levels on their television first. Jesus those yellow sweaters are gross. Should have went with their thirds as their homers. Still wouldn’t be worth watching, though.

    • I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords.

    • Aw, I don’t understand all the hatred towards the new sweaters! They REALLY aren’t as awful as you make them sound. They were able to make a yellow-gold that stands out beautifully both on the ice and in the crowd, and does so without being obnoxious. It’s a jersey that you can INSTANTLY identify as “Predators” (much like the Flyers’ pumpkin-orange jerseys, for comparison). I actually think people just aren’t used to seeing bright jerseys. Other than Nashville and Philly, I can’t think of another team that has a really bright colored jersey. (San Jose’s teal doesn’t count; that’s dark.) People are used to the Flyers bright orange cause it’s been around forever, so the Preds bright gold is shocking. Give it time. It’ll grow on you :)

    • I’m not too big a fan of the design of the jersey but I do like the gold color as it’s much easier on the eyes than the grey poupon sweaters from the past, not to mention it’s immediately identifiable with the Preds and I’m glad the Nashville brass opted not to jump on the navy blue bandwagon, as much as I did like their navy alternates. It seems as if they wanted to give themselves their own identity in their division (maybe opting not to choose the navy in hopes people wouldn’t link them with Columbus!) and the league and that’s definitely a respectable move. This coming from a Wings fan.

  9. The Jets. Congrats on getting them back, but not exactly the most exciting squad to watch.

    • But “it’s a LOUD BUILDING!!!!”

      That comment from people always cracks me up.. I hope it’s loud, it’s 3/4 size of normal NHL rinks..

      The Jets, are in my top 10 of teams to flip the channel..

  10. the maple leafs you forgot to put the maple leafs first

    • The Maple Leafs reside in Canada, that’s an automatic pass. Same old thing, different day

    • My bad, Calgary was on the list, so Canadian isn’t an automatic pass.

    • Aaaaaaaand there it is. I was wondering when the unfounded Leaf Hate-a-thon would begin. I thought it would have been within the first three comments.

  11. I think this list is pretty good JB. The one thing all these teams have in common is the absence of almost any young offensive stars (yes, the Hurricanes have added Skinner, and Granlund is on the way). That makes them “meh” with no hope. I know a lot of people crap on the Oilers, and they have been brutal for quite some time, but for me they are not close to that top 5 because they have three legitimate future all-star forwards. There is excitement, and there is hope (at least I hope there is hope). Three years ago the Oilers could have easily been in that list.

  12. The Flames and Jackets for sure. And the Jets.

    But then, if I didn’t live in South Florida, I wouldn’t have watched the Panthers for the last five seasons. Man, those were some painful games. Panthers-Thrashers on a Monday night? Gee, I wonder why there’s no one in the building.

  13. I hate Calgary because they’re a terribly-run organization with a couple of players that are SO good (Kiprusoff, Iginla) that they can drag the rest of the mess they call a roster to enough wins that people think they’re good. They’ll win 3 straight and then lose 4. They’re never terrible and barring one magical Cup run they’re never exceptional. They make horrible personnel decisions (RESIGNING Jokinen??!! Matt Stajan??!) that didn’t even look good at the time they were made, and they employ Brent Sutter, who is easily the surliest, least-interesting coach in the league. They have few, if any, exciting young prospects. Zzzzzz

  14. The wrestling term you’re looking for is “jobber”.

    Calgary, Minnesota, Detroit, Dallas, Florida are my top five, I think.

  15. I’m a Nashvillian but I lawled at the “robot” comment, good stuff. But how do we make the list, i mean we’ve had 7 comebacks this year when we’ve been down 2+ goals…I guess small-market bias is something you can’t get rid off.

    • Because the perception is that the Predators win with safe, defensive hockey, the most exciting play being Ryan Suter boxing out an opposing forward and clearing the puck off the glass and out. You also lack an exciting, game breaking forward (Mike Fisher leads the team in goals with 14). I don’t see a lot of Predators hockey so you’re more qualified to comment than me, but the playoff series with Vancouver last year was a bit of a snoozefest

      • That’s very true… our series against Vancouver wasn’t the most exciting. Were you able to catch any of our first round games against Anaheim, though?? Those were some excellent and very exciting games. Unfortunately, despite being posited as “the most exciting match up in the playoffs this season – offense against defense!”, they didn’t really show any games on national TV (maybe one?). Funny thing is, we played some of the best offense I’d seen all season.

        I can understand why many people don’t find the Predators an exciting team to watch, though. We don’t really have one (or more) stand out offensive player, and that’s what people like to watch.

        • The Predators are the most exciting team to watch in person at home games.

        • I didn’t, unfortunately….caught some highlights and was shocked that the games were 6-5, 5-4, etc. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the organization; I wish my team was as well-run and managed as yours. It just goes to show that if a team is successful, fans will show up, no matter where the team is located

  16. I assume the only things keeping the Kings off this list are Kopitar’s lob passes, and Quick’s amazing saves? It certainly isn’t hoping to see pancakes tossed on the ice if Penner EVER notches another goal.

  17. “Note: I do watch all these teams play from time to time just to have some idea what I’m talking about. Those nights are not my favourites.)”

    Maybe those times you pick are not the right times. And just how often is ‘from time to time’?
    I don’t really care whether you watch the Preds at all, but if you are evaluating them on a game here and a game there, then really, is that valid? I’m with TNPred fan, just keep flipping until you get to those ‘awesome’ Pens. And Scott, the jerseys are GOLD.

  18. Everyone please keep hating on the Predators. We love missing the front page of NHL.com, less noteriety, more winning. But seriously, if anyone could watch last nights game and find it boring? Your stuck in East Coast Dumberland.

    • There’s a difference between finding a team boring, and not respecting the team. I think most people would say they respect the way the Predators play, and they respect the passion of a fanbase in a non-traditional market. Great management too.
      We know these things….and yet, Preds games can be a bit boring to watch. They get it done in a workman-like fashion, but it’s not edge-of-your-seat action. Which has worked just fine for the Preds.
      I have mucho respect for Nashville. Your guys were a tough, great opponent in the second round of the playoffs last year.

      • Very true. We do tend to be very workman like, then you have those times when they almost lull you to sleep and score 3 goals in the 3rd to win the game. Granted, you do have to sit thru 50 minutes of torture to get there. Tremendously exciting for the real fans but most would give in….

  19. Intriguing topic. My list comes down to teams that play a boring style, or suck really hard.

    -Minnesota Wild
    -Buffalo Sabres
    -Phoenix Coyotes
    -Calgary Flames
    -Columbus Blue Jackets (This one I feel guilty about, just because the fans in Columbus have been screwed over for the entire existence of their franchise. They deserve better)

  20. I love how people are getting pissed about whether their team’s watchability.

  21. Tampa bay lightning…. 1-3-1

  22. Leafs, flames, jackets, panthers, wild.

  23. 7 Come-From-Behind wins this year for the Preds, when they were down 2 to start the 3rd. These aren’t the same Preds you saw last decade. There’s something to be said about a team you can never count out of a game, and they’ve delivered. Why the “meh”?

  24. Tampa is kinda boring too
    Plus points for Reddit Bourne

  25. Funny, Funny, Funny……..Calgary is so boring that it was forgotten that Calgary plays in front of Canadian Hockey Fans. Imagine the snooze fests that would ensue if they played their brand of hockey in a non-canadian market. Woe is the Calgary fan that has had to endure this for years……at least without Kipper they would garner some high draft picks if their GM’s would quit trading them away.

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