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Since this is the first time I have watched the playoffs without a real rooting interest, I guess I should break down my rooting interest Avs style. This is my perspective, and it's heavy on Avs influences. So here we go with the Western Conference.

1) Calgary Flames- Yes it's weird going from hoping a team loses, to hoping a team wins, but I've already extolled the Flames virtue's before . Besides it's not hard to root for them when they play the Red Wings in the first round, and being an 8-seed is quasi-cinderella.

The biggest dislike about this team is that pansy Phaneuf... but this should cheer anyone up who dislikes him too


2)San Jose- Why San Jose? well I live here, and if they do well the office will be more likely to talk about hockey, and I may even get the opportunity to go to a playoff game. Also Thornton is a world class player and it's about time he shows up in the playoffs. (Also cheer for Hannan, he might be on the Avs next year).

3-tie)Vancouver Canucks- a lot of my Avs fans hate these guys, but they have players I like, the Sedin Clones, Luongo, Naslund. They, now, have a likable coach. And more importantly they are a NW division, which is the best division in Hockey, and was all season. Avs fans can take solace in that if they got to play Columbus, Phoenix, or any of those other patsies they might be in, but instead we got Edmonton... mainly before the Smyth debacle.

3-tie)Nashville Predators- Paul Kariya & Peter Forsberg you magnificent bastards.

5)Anaheim Ducks- Would have ranked higher then.. wait a minute Brian Burke is GMing this team, and I blame him more than anyone, other than Bertuzzi himself, for the Bertuzzi incident. It's his view of old time hockey that infuriates me. Not that he's an advocate for fighting, but that he seems to be the leader of the "If you're not for fighting you're not a real fan" charge... Well screw him. I am not cheering for his team, even though I like Selanne (even after his bum Avs season) and how can you not like Giguere?

6) Dallas Stars- Umm can't really put them any lower, but I would if I could. Still I have a lot of respect for Mike Modano, and Turco is way more likable than $1 Billon Eddie.

7) Minnesota Wild- I know I said I would root for the Red wings over them, but I didn't mean it, I was just trying to prove a point. Still the most unlikable team in the playoffs, if you didn't have any predisposed biases (which I obviously do).

8) Les Ailes de Rouge- Why in french? Well their fans want to be Canadien, they have the arrogance of French-Canadien Hockey fans.. so why not. If I need to go into what's detestable about them, well you're obviously not a fan.

Eastern Conference tomorrow