Apr 13, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) checks Tampa Bay Lightning center Alex Killorn (17) in the third period at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 6-5 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Who Will You Miss Most From The Southeast?

After this farewell post from Pat McGrath of The Rat Trick, it got me thinking about which opponent I’ll miss most about the Southeast Division. Carolina will be joining the Caps in the Metropolitan division next year, so obviously they are omitted from this discussion. Smell ya soon, Semin…

If the Winnipeg Jets had been the Winnipeg Jets, and not the Atlanta Thrashers, for the majority of the Southeast’s existence, I’d probably be most sad to see them go. I loved the Canadian flavor; the Winnipeg fans are among the best in the league, if you ask me. Whenever the Caps traveled up their to place, it felt like a big deal no matter what, and that was because of the fans. Unfortunately, the team was the Atlanta Thrashers for the most part, and I don’t know if there is or has been another sports team on the planet that elicits less emotion than the Atlanta Thrashers. Sorry, Winnipeg, I wish you had been in my life sooner.

The Florida Panthers never got under my skin much, other than when the team won the division in 2011-2012 despite having less wins than Washington, but that’s not Florida’s fault. Leaving this relationship where it is makes it difficult to feel much emotion, and that’s because of the relative dominance Washington has displayed over Florida for the past couple years. The best thing, I think, that came from Washington/Florida games over the years were how many high flying, high scoring games there were between the two. I know Ovie licked his chops every time Florida was on the schedule, and for good reason.

The Tampa Bay Lightning infuriated me. They have a cup (won with Tortorella as coach, of all people) and the Caps don’t. In the most recent playoff matchup between the two, the Lightning swept the Caps with ease in the second round of the 2011 NHL playoffs. As far as I’m concerned, we have unfinished business. It’s August 11th, the baron wasteland of the offseason, and this paragraph is still making my blood boil. For that reason, I will miss the Tampa Bay Lightning the most. Not because I like or enjoy their presence at all, but because of the whole “keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer” thing. I don’t care how many division championships the Caps racked up, I feel the Lightning got away with the upper hand. Gods of Hockey, please deliver me Tampa Bay in the playoffs sometime soon, especially now since they got rid of that pesky Vincent Lecavalier guy…

Who will you miss most?

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Tags: Florida Panthers Tampa Bay Lightning Washington Capitals Winnipeg Jets

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