My husband, my boyfriend, and my dirty mistress.
While it's true that you can only truly love one hockey team, sometimes you can get friendly with another one. Or two.
It's supposed to be the rule of hockey fandom, and probably all other sports fandoms. You cheer for one team, and cheer against everyone else. How can you truly love your own team if you're checking out the others all the time?
You just... can. You know because it doesn't hurt when those other teams lose. You enjoy them, bandwagon them if your team is out of the playoffs, pay a little bit of attention to them during the regular season, and make friends with their fans while secretly plotting ways to steal the players you like from their teams and add them to yours.
It's also probably a sign that you watch way too much hockey and need to get out more.
I watch way too much hockey and need to get out more.
The Canadiens will always be my true hockey love. They make me cry enough to know there's no doubt about that. The day after Habs wins are always a little happier than regular days, and the days after Habs losses are ones where I hate everything and everyone and crankily text everyone about it. And I know I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever hate any team like I hate the Boston Bruins. Ever.
But I do have a hot piece on the side. And then another one on the side of that, although that one's more of a hot mess on the side, but we'll get to that. And I don't think I'm even a little bit ashamed.
If you've read enough of my hockey ramblings, or if you follow me on Twitter, or if you've ever been in my car, which is named after him, basically if you pay any attention at all, you'll know that my favourite active NHL player is Jonathan Toews. Why? Because Jonathan Toews is perfect. No really, he is. Anyone who doesn't love Jonathan Toews has no soul. Anyone who loves Jonathan Toews more than I do probably needs to see a shrink about it, because I am definitely pushing the limits of healthy hockey love.
Anyway, I love whatever team Jonathan Toews plays on by default (unless he ends up on the Bruins, obviously, in which case I will quit hockey and take up meth or something). It helps that he's on a good team that's been insanely fun to watch since about the year after he debuted with them. It helps that 2010 was such a fun playoff year and also I was mad at the Flyers and Patrick Kane made it all better. It also helps that the Blackhawks eliminated the Vancouver Canucks a couple of times when Vancouver fans' collective annoyingness was at its peak. I made a few very awesome Chicago friends from following the Blackhawks, like the friends-for-life kind of friends, for which I will eternally be grateful. The Blackhawks cheer me up when the Canadiens make me sad.
But it doesn't destroy me every time they get eliminated from the playoffs like it does with the Habs. I don't hate Detroit, or St. Louis, although I don't like Vancouver much. I was really happy when the Hawks won the Cup, but that didn't even come close to how happy I was when the Habs beat Washington or Pittsburgh earlier in the playoffs...
...also referred to as my dirty mistress. I know I should feel all kindsa shame for liking the Flyers, but I don't, so, like, deal with it or whatever.
Why do I like them? Well... they're assholes, for one thing. People like to complain about the shit they do, but unless they're criminally injuring someone, I enjoy it. I'm not sorry. They've also had a lot of players I really love in the last few years. I think it started with Mike Richards, who I think is the perfect example of the kind of hockey player I like (on the ice, at least, I don't want to know anything about the rest). But Chris Pronger (sniff), Simon Gagne, Scott Hartnell, Wayne Simmonds, Sean Couturier, Future Montreal Canadien Claude Giroux, probably more I'm forgetting. They just have, or have had, players I like a lot.
Also, they're a circus. I don't understand what Paul Holmgren is doing any of the time, or how it somehow works out okay half of of the time, or what the hell this season is, or their media, or most of their fans, or anything. It's all very insane... and entertaining. Also, I don't know if they feel this way about us, but I feel like there's a bit we have in common with their fans, in that "oh no what did that one member of my fan base do that's completely classless and/or stupid this time that everyone will just talk about as though my entire fan base behaves like this all the time?" kind of way. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong, I only talk to like three Flyers fans, but I just get that feeling. In any case, I enjoy the Flyers.
But the Flyers winning doesn't really mean much to me, and when they lose, it doesn't make me sad in the least. And I don't hate the Penguins. I used to, but I think it had more to do with the Penguins fan I was seeing entirely too much of at the time. Now I just find them mildly annoying. The rest of their rivals don't bother me in the least.
So, you know, not an actual Flyers fan. Or an actual Blackhawks fan. I can quit those guys whenever I want. I can never quit the Habs. I guess it's more like my husband, and a couple of platonic friends, rather than a boyfriend and a dirty mistress.
The Montreal Canadiens, forever.
Feel free to express your disappointment with me in the comments, EOTPers, but also, tell us who, if anyone, you cheat on the Habs with and why.