By Doug Kennedy
Sports fans, do you remember?
The last time a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup was in 1993. It was the Montreal Canadiens. We should not be surprised that they might not have had the best team that year but they had the best goalie, a rookie named Patrick Roy. This year they clearly have the best goalie in Carey Price, which should give them another chance to win the cup.
Patrick Roy won the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP that year as a rookie.
The things that are also similar to these two teams is all the wins in overtime. As an avid Montreal fan Dr. Mike Emond would tell me, the best team always wins, even in all those overtime games. In 1993, they won three games in overtime in the Stanley cup final against the Los Angeles Kings. They defeated Wayne Gretzky in his chance to bring a Stanley cup to L.A.
If there are more than two overtime games, I think Montreal will win. If not, I am taking Tampa Bay in five games, but it would be nice to see a Stanley Cup parade in Canada.
Tampa Bay has the second best goalie in the NHL, in Andrei Vasilevskiy. At the end of this series, he could be the number one if they win.
I am not sure if there is a smarter general manager in the NHL than Steve Yzerman of the Detroit Red Wings. He built the current Tampa Bay team that looks like the best team in the NHL over the last two seasons. His biggest strength was to get his star players to take less money than a lot of stars in other organizations. This has helped Tampa Bay pick up key players each year for their playoff run. His drafting was also at the top of the list, with many of the key players in Tampa Bay being drafted under Yzerman’s watch. I have a feeling it is only a matter of time before he builds a winner in Detroit.
On another note….
It is interesting to see Wayne Gretrzky has been hired by Turner Sports to be their studio voice for NHL hockey this coming season. Mark Messier has been hired to do the same job with ESPN, starting next season. NBC lost the NHL rights for the next ten seasons to Turner Sports and ESPN Sports.