Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Stanley Cup

Game seven is tonight. The winner gets the glory of busting a 40-year drought, the losers get absolutely nothing to salve the horrible bruising they've taken in this series.

Lord Stanley
Freddy to his friends. The 16th Earl of Derby to his toadies. Governor General of Canada for five years late in Queen Victoria's reign.

The Cup
The original cup was a sterling silver candy dish that Lord Stanley bought for $50 because his kids loved this silly little Canadian game played on ice. The original cup is locked away in the Hockey Hall of Fame like some religious icon and has not seen actual ice for 42 years.

The Teams
The Boston Bruins are one of the Original Six NHL teams. The first NHL team to use a Zamboni. The doormat of the league during those early years, they had only four winning seasons from 1947-1967. Their best player in history was Bobby Orr. Last won the Cup in 1972.

The Vancouver Canucks entered the NHL in 1970. The last Canadian team in the finals was Ottawa in 2007, the last to win the cup was Montreal in 1993. Their best player was....That's a toughie. Mark Messier played for them when he was well past his prime. Probably their best player was Markus Naslund.

What's a Canuck?
A Canuck is a Canadian in the same way a Hoosier is an Indianan. To English speakers from Toronto a Canuck used to be a French Canadian backwoodsman who knew more about skinning a beaver than wearing a beaver hat. In time all Canadians took on the word as a badge of honor. During World War II the Canadian equivalent to Captain America was Johnny Canuck.

By the by, Vancouver is the better team but Boston will win tonight on the skates of goalie Tim Thomas.

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