If you missed it on Wednesday, I compiled my personal list of “5 teams that make me want to flip channels.” That was one was fairly easy to write, but this one’s a little harder – hell, I like watching a lot of teams play. But, I felt like I should write the positive side of things after being such a Negative Nancy.

Lists aren’t fun if you aren’t definitive, so here goes nothing: I shall attempt to order up my top five.

Remember, I’m not listing the five best teams in the NHL – this is the list of five I most like to watch play and why.

 #5 The New York Islanders

You knew it was coming. It had to.

Most hockey fans have “their” team that they stick with through the thin stuff so they can avoid the “bandwagoner” title when things get thick. But on top of that, I feel like the opinion isn’t that hard to defend: John Tavares is an absolute star, the goalie situation is always must-see TV (whether good or bad), the coach is just about the most genial guy on the planet, and we’ve (yup, that’s a “we” bomb) got some good young talent that’s developing, some of whom I had the privilege of playing with.

If you simply overlook the consecutive decades of misery, a poor ownership situation, the potential relocation of the team, Rick DiPietro’s contract, the GMs unwillingness to trade anyone for anything and a total lack of depth, you can see why I’m such a fan of cathing 60 minutes of Islanders hockey.


 #4 The Chicago Blackhawks

Somehow, the Hawks were one of my Dad’s favourite teams growing up, and somewhere along the way I picked up an affection for them myself.

But the last few years they’ve just been a treat to watch – Jonathan Toews is one of the 10 best players in the game, Patrick Kane is electricity on-ice, Marian Hossa is in BEAST mode this year (he might protect the puck better than anyone in the NHL), Patrick Sharp is snipeshow, Duncan Keith skates like Bambi runs, and Brent Seabrook has a bomb.

Everytime you turn on the Hawks you know you’re watching a Stanley Cup contender, and to top it off, they’re fourth in the NHL with an average of 3.15 goals-per-game, so they’re doing it with flair.

Plus: Quenneville’s mustache, you guys??


 #3 The Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins really can do it all.

They score more goals than any other team in the NHL, with a goals-per-game average of 3.47 (I like watching goals, btw). They’ve got more PIMS than any other team in the NHL, taking an an average of 15.9 PIMS per game (I like watching physical play, btw). They lead the NHL in fighting majors with 42 (I’m hesitant to admit it, but I like watching fights. ….btw).

They have arguably the best goaltending tandem in the NHL. They have the most beerability in the NHL.

Holy hell, why is this team at number three?

Let’s get to that…

 #2 The Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks are ahead of the Bruins for me personally partly because I’m a BC boy, but mostly because I’m a fan of highlight reel plays, and the Sedins create highlight reels every time they step on the ice. There’s should be a nightly “Top 5 Sedin Plays” after every game.

There’s nobody in the league right now I’d rather watch operate than these two – the poise, the vision, the passing skills…it’s just insanity.

To top it off, they’ve got one of the most polarizing figures in the NHL in Roberto Luongo, a 40-goal Selke winner in Kesler, a couple of pests that guarantee some fireworks now and again, a fast-rising star in Cody Hodgson, and depth that’s only touched by Boston. And, they’re third in the NHL in goals-per-game with 3.16. Not too shabby, Vancouver.

And coming in at number one…


 #1  The Philadelphia Flyers

To be clear, I’ve never liked a Flyers team in my life, and it kills me that I do this one.

But 24/7 does that to a guy. Hell, I’m even finding it hard to spit on pictures of the Rangers’ logo these days.

But I now have a man crush on Claude Giroux, who’s the only guy that comes close to providing the entertainment value of the Sedins, for my money. Scott Hartnell ended up being a fantastic guy (more on that “beerability”-wise later on the site today), which I did not see coming. They have Jaromir freaking Jagr on their team this year. I mean, Jaromir Jagr? How the hell did that happen?

It’s been fun watching Ilya Bryzgalov’s story play out there, and it’s mesmerizing watching their two massive trades play out (and they appear to have paid off, assuming Bryz can get his crap together). They score the second most goals in the NHL (notice a trend here?) with an average of 3.32 a game.

There’s just something about them that’s tough to stop watching right now. As Schenn and Courturier develop, they’re starting to look like a team that’s bound for a head-on collision with Boston in the Stanley Cup playoffs….again.


So those are the teams that are most frequently on my TV. Honorable mentions to Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Toronto, Los Angeles, Detroit, Washington, Winnipeg and Edmonton. I have no idea why Winnipeg, outside of the fact that I’m secretly rooting for them. Some things are just beyond explanation.

So, whaddya think? Did I miss anyone? Who’s on your “top 5 to watch” list?

Comments (12)

  1. It’s funny…the Bruins thing really is just about the fighting. they score a lot, but don’t have too many real exciting players (Seguin, maybe Marchand). They play grind-it-out get the puck in deep hockey, and much of their dominance comes from the defensive end (which isn’t that exciting). But my god…you leave the room for 2 minutes and you might miss WW III. There was the game last year where I turned it on 2 minutes in and it was 2-0 with like 10 guys in the box. Can’t turn away from that team.

    • Exactly. I sat down at a pub with my Dad one day when the B’s/Stars played that 4 fights in first 6 seconds game, and then they scored right after. Have to watch.

  2. A pox on you for your Flyers pick! Okay, not really – have to admit I have always liked Hartnell and somehow battle with myself over wanting to see Bryz succeed. And like you am kinda loving the Rangers too after 24/7 – which is all very hard being a black and (Las Vegas) gold bleeding Pens fan.

  3. I would have said this even before last night but for a bad team I never turn it when the oilers are playing seems every night one of Hall Eberle and in the case of last Gagner seems to do something that makes you say wow, also even though he is having a terrible year and his time there seems to be coming to an end Ales Hemsky is fun to watch. An added bonus of this team is seeing two of the best flows in the league in Smyth and Jones flying around the ice. and who can forget RNH?

  4. Definitely the current St. Louis Blues: win or loss, there isn’t a game they play where they aren’t absolutely hounding their opponent the entire game. They’ve got such a skillfully balanced group of forwards—there isn’t one “bonafide superstar”—who all complement each other and ensure that every single shift, they’re attacking in the offensive zone and looking dangerous doing so. Love me some Blue.

  5. I wouldn’t miss a third period of the Sens playing. The other two periods though… meh. :)

    • I was going to say the same thing. I love be able to watch them go into a 3rd, even when it looks like they are down and out, they can come back and win it… or, they can be up with a good lead, and give it up. You never know what will happen in their 3rd periods.

      Great list. No arguments here.

  6. #6 Rangers, thanks to 24/7, plus I’m always waiting for the Tort’s blow up on the busch league refs…

    #5 Red Wings, as much as I despise them, I can’t help but respect the old men, sometimes I think they’re overly protected too much by the refs though, which make for way more special teams play then the average it seems..

    #4 Flyers, thanks to 24/7, never knew Mr Universe was that entertaining. Plus I think their Coach is high on the beerability, especially since the way he man handled Ott..

    #3 Blackhawks, Toews is best player in the League, plus the Central is the worst division to be in right now. Every game means something. You don’t win the Central, you’re probably going to be playing the 3rd best team in the West in the 1st round, who also is in the same division..

    #2 St Louis, they have no finisher, no lone guy to hang the points on(which leads to fun beer drinking games), they lead the league in limiting their opponents shots, because they have the most aggressive forecheck/backchecking. Plus it’s always great to see a “team” play, as they roll all 4 lines throughout most games. Their coach is “disappointed” if the team doesn’t have over 40 shots on net in a game. Plus they have physicality, and we all know that’s good stuff to watch.

    #1 Bruins, only because what’s been mentioned already, fights, PIM’s, goals, never know who what or when WWIII is going to pop off

  7. I can’t understand the Bruins… beyond being half goons, they have Jack Edwards and Mike Milbury as announcer. How can you listen to that trash?

    Granted, I guess that’s why this list is for ‘watching’ not ‘listening’.

    I only like watching Isles highlights. The rest of the game is usually painful. The Oilers are also like that, but give them a few years – soon they’ll be kicking it with the best in the league. That is different then the Wings, Hawks, and ‘Nucks, who always seem to play beautiful hockey. The Wings particularly have an amazing ability to make the game look beautiful.

    And I’d never watch the Flyers, if only on principle. Though I really do want Bryz to find his groove there…

    • Agree with you about the “watching” versus “listening”. If it was listening, the Canucks would be #1 on the previous list.

      I don’t know if they’re the most irritating announcing team in all of hockey, but they’re definitely the worst in my time zone.

  8. In no particular order:


    (Pittsburgh replaces Detroit on there when Sid is healthy)

  9. 1. Pittsburgh
    2. Calgary
    3. Phoenix
    4. Anaheim
    5. Chicago

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