Monday, June 19, 2006

The Stanley Cup Winner is Hockey

I watched the Stanley Cup finals, game 7 tonight. My dad and I both agree, this (along with maybe the NCAA Basketball tournament) is the most intense sports event of the year. Certainly it's the most grueling. You hear announcers saying what type of injuries these guys play through (Doug Weight begged his trainer to let him play with a separated shoulder), and you just shake your head. These people work harder and play with more passion than you see in any other pro sport.

And this game was no exception--it was a masterful display by both teams that cemented a wonderful comeback season for the NHL. I was rooting for Edmonton, mostly because I want to see the Cup back in Canada after a long abscence. I feel like they deserve it--like they know its significance (especially a small-market team like Edmonton, which--with Calgary--is like the Green Bay Packers of hockey). Carolina fans certainly are enthusiastic, but do they really know the history of the game? My dad was afraid they'd take a cue from football and charge the rink (God, what a disaster that would be).

Still, congratulations to the Hurricanes, who certainly earned this Cup (knocking out my beloved Devils along the way). This was a spectacular season, and I hope the league continues to win over fans going into the next year (hint: watch Alexander Ovetchkin. I swear, he looks like a Brazilian soccer player out there when he touches the puck. Breathtaking).


Anonymous said...

U.S.-based NHL teams have won The Stanley Cup twelve consecutive times. Three U.S. cities (i.e. Dallas Texas, Tampa Bay Florida and now Raleigh North Carolina) won The Stanley Cup for the first time over the past six seasons. Congratulations to the Edmonton Oilers for their remarkable season! They are the first eighth-ranked NHL team to make it to The Stanley Cup finals and the Carolina Hurricanes won the final series in seven hard-fought games, even after Edmonton lost their starting goalie at the end of the first game of this series. The province of Alberta have come in second two consecurive NHL seasons in the Stanley Cup finals and it is only a matter of time when The Stanley Cup will be won in Alberta!

Mark said...

I'd argue cycling is more grueling. Tyler Hamilton finished 2nd (or third I misremember) in the Tour of Italy (21 days racing) with a broken collarbone. After the race he had to have all his molars crowned because every night he was be grinding his teeth due to the pain. This year Petacchi finished a stage of the Giro riding 60 miles to the finish after a crash reporting "my knee was starting to feel better toward the end." It turns out x-rays showed fractures and he's only just now returned to start training. I could go on ... but I think cycling might give your claim of the "most grueling" part a run for the money.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Though I would have liked to see Edmonton win the cup (for the simple fact that it would have been an extremely awesome comeback), Carolina just flat out outplayed the oilers in game 7. They skated well again, they started hitting and being more agressive (which was a big help to them), and just played all-around good hockey. Another thing is, although Markkanen did an exceptional job for being a third string goalie, who's to say what would have happened had Roloson not gotten injured in the first game of this series? Obviously we will never know the answer, we just have to speculate. Anyway, it was a great season for the NHL to come back. I can't wait until next season.

Eva said...

haha. the Packers are my team... and it hurts to see them like this!

on a virtually unrelated note, some marathon runner once finished a race with a fractured femur. it snapped while he was running, but his thighs were so overdeveloped that the muscles splinted the bone together until he collapsed at the finish line.