I am 100% not sorry for liking a hockey team more than the Bruins. I do NOT dislike the Bruins, they just so happen to take a backseat to my favorite hockey team, the St. Louis Blues. Also, I am not from St. Louis, Missouri, or anywhere in the midwest; I have lived in Massachusetts all of my life. Living near Boston, like many other sports cities, comes with an expectation that your favorite team in each sport would be one from your home state, which is a rule that I may have broken (whoops).My personal hierarchy of hockey teams does not sit well with people from around here, as they reject the simple thought of liking another team more than their beloved Bruins. I understand completely where they are coming from, because I am a huge fan of the Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics; it just so happens that the Bruins fall in the #2 slot in terms of hockey teams for me.
The first hockey game I had ever watched was in 2005 at a friend's house. The game was between the St. Louis Blues and the Anaheim Ducks, who were one of the best teams of the whole decade and would go on to win the Stanley Cup the following year. The one important thing I took away from this game is that the Blues absolutely sucked. They ended with one of the worst records that year (21-46) and, truthfully, I saw their team as the laughing stocks of the league, which they were that year. I started rooting for them not just because they were the first team I had ever watched, but also kind of as a joke because they were the worst team. It was funny for me to root for them because I expected a loss a majority of the time.
Eventually, I would come to find that I would begin to get genuinely excited whenever they won and very angry whenever they lost, even more so than the Bruins, who I was rooting for solely due to the fact that I am from Massachusetts. This is when they started to take over the role as my favorite team, and I started to pay very close attention to their team. In 2011, their franchise improved drastically from the year preceding it. They finished at the top of their division for the first time in a while, and I got very excited. Sure, they ended up losing in the 2nd round of the playoffs, but to me, that season was a success. Ever since then, it has been much of the same. The Blues have finished in the top 3 in their division and have qualified for the playoffs in each of the past 5 seasons. In each of those seasons, though, they have had a very early exit in the playoffs. 2015 was the closest they have come to making the finals in a very long time after they lost to the San Jose Sharks in 6 games, 4-2. The Blues have been juggernauts in the regular season, but have always found ways to lose in the playoffs. Understandably, the playoffs can be hard when you have had to go up against dynasties such as the Chicago Blackhawks every year. In fact, this has been the trend all throughout the history of the St. Louis Blues franchise. They have made the finals only 3 times and have lost all three of those. I am hoping that, especially with the talent they have on the team now and the trajectory their franchise is going, I will see a Stanley Cup go home to St. Louis in the next few years.
So, Bruins fans, I do not apologize for loving the Blues as much as you all love the Bruins. I also do not apologize for going to a Bruins vs. Blues game in my Vladamir Taresenko jersey and cheering after every St. Louis goal. I like the Blues because they are really the first team I have cared to pay much attention to in hockey, and they are the team that got me interested in the sport as a whole. And let's be honest, nobody here hates the blues; you hate me for liking a team that isn't the hometown favorite. What I can say to get you all on my side though, is that at least I don't like the Canadiens, because then we would have a real problem on our hands.