The Stanley Cup finals start tomorrow night. In case you're living under a rock, it's the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. the Detroit Red Wings. I'll be strongly rooting for the Penguins, and here's the five reasons why.
Freddie P touched on this neat little factoid and I dig it as much as he does. No team captained by a non-North American has ever won the Stanley Cup. In fact, all the Stanley Cup winning captains have been Canadian except for Derian Hatcher who captained the 1999 Dallas Stars. Lidstrom, captain of the Red Wings, would be the first European to lead his team to a cup win. It might not be politically correct, but I prefer captains and Conn Smyth winners to hail from Canada.
I've been following the career of Sid the Kid since around the time I wrote this entry. Believe it or not, he's still only 20 years old. That's incredible, and it would be even cooler if he led these young guns to the holy grail.
Red Wing Fatigue
I used to hate the Red Wings when we shared a division with them. I watched game 7 of that 1993 series just last week and, even though I knew exactly what was going to happen, I was so damn happy Gilmour scored to tie it up late in the 3rd and Borchevsky scored to win it in OT. I'm tired of these guys, they've won enough, and without Yzerman and Shanahan, there's no reason to like 'em.
I love watching elite players, and I loved watching Mario Lemieux. In the early 90s, when the Penguins were winning cups, they were the team I cheered for when the Leafs were out. I still have my black Penguins cap in the trunk of my car. It's the only NHL logo on a cap I own that isn't the Maple Leaf.
Who doesn't love Gary Roberts? He was our heart and soul, he retired and came back, he hasn't sipped from the Cup since 1989. Damn I want him to hoist Lord Stanley's mug one more time...