Yea, I know what you mean about rooting for Seattle when we get a team. I'm just glad I'm not so terribly attached to a particular hockey team as I am to a particular football team. With the Seahawks, second favorite is whoever else best helps the Seahawks chances to do well. 31 other teams are hostile rivals, some a little less than others.
With the NHL, I can appreciate great hockey, and actually like a lot of teams. There are a few, such as the obvious Detroit (as an Avs fan) and Pittsburgh (by association) that I don't like, but mainly I just love watching great play. The Sharks grew on me a lot watching them in the Bay Area. I've been to a number of games there in the Shark Tank. Saw Bon Jovi in concert there too. Great stadium, actually. I actually got to watch part of that epic Pens-Caps playoff series live in person a few years back at the rink there in D.C. Man, was that awesome! Navy got an opportunity to send a bunch of folks down to volunteer at the concession booths there. Everyone else just wanted the community service bullet for their evals; I was there to see hockey, and serve burgers and fries when I had to. I put in well over my fair share of work, but got to see a ton of excellent playoff hockey live for free. Those breakaway shots down the side by Crosby were a thing of brilliance.
Have to disagree with you on the Red Wings. Don't mind seeing them out right away. Not only am I slightly programmed to hate them, they've also been in the playoffs every year since Gretzky was in high school. I know they have as many cups as the Yankees have pennants, but it would have been nice to see the Habs get to the big dance again. They haven't been in a long time, in spite of how much history they have. Besides, as Roy was a former Hab, I kind of have a soft spot for them too. And Montreal is such a cool town. Oh well. The Sens will do just fine, I guess.
Not surprising the Sharks and Blackhawks have come out of the west. One of them will likely be in the SC finals. The east is somewhat murkier. Everyone hates the Leafs, but they haven't been a force since Domi was thugging it up on the ice. They're due. Past due if you count all the anguish from their fans. Think the usual suspects - Pens, Caps, Bruins - will probably emerge as the contenders, though.
"The ultimate number is W's, and that’s what matters in Santa Clara. As such, Jed York does not own the 49ers; Russell Wilson does." - Paul Gutierrez