Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Stanley Cup Champs 2006

The Carolina Hurricanes have won the Stanley Cup by beating the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 in the seventh and deciding game of the final series. The Hurricanes are first time champions, having been beaten in the finals by the Detroit Redwings in 2002. These were the only two times that the team has made the finals, even back when the franchise was located in Hartford, Connecticut and known as the Whalers. The Hurricanes had earlier won the first two games in Raleigh, North Carolina and then went on to lose games three in Edmonton. They won the fourth game and everyone thought that that was it. But the Oilers won the next two games to force a game 7 back in Raleigh. Edmonton joins their Alberta cousins Calgary in becoming the second Canadian team to lose the finals in a game 7. In the 2003-04 season, just before the lockout due to salary issues (which meant that the entire 2004-05 season was cancelled), the Calgary Flames became unlikely finalists who won the hearts of all hockey fans by reaching the finals only to lose to Tampa Bay. In very similar manner, the Oilers became the lowest seed (at 8) to make it through to the finals and just needed one more win to win it all.

Carolina had several veteran players who totally deserved to lift the Cup and are now first time winners. Lead by Captain Rod Brind'Amour (16 years in the NHL), defefender Glen Wesley (18 years the longest by any player without winning a Stanley) who had been part of three beaten finalist teams, Ray Whitnet (14 years), Bret Hedican & Doug Weight. Joinning them are youngsters who played extremely well, Mike Commodore, Eric Staal & Conn Smythe winner (playoff MVP) rookie goalie Cam Ward. All the players will spend a day with the Cup at a location of their choice. Ironically Edmonton, even though they lost, can take heart in the fact that the Hurricanes have three prominent players who are from the Edmonton ares. Both Mike Commodore & Ray Whitney are from the suburb of Fort Saskatchewan and Cam Ward is also from Edmonton.

Song for the day - "Burn" - DEEP PURPLE


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