A few thoughts on the Cup final and Toronto captaincy as the hockey season slips away for another summer...
Heading into Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final, I was curious how the hostile Philadelphia crowd would react to a visiting team celebrating winning the mug on Flyer ice.
If Wednesday night didn’t prove how Stanley’s Cup is the best and most respected trophy in sports – North America at least – nothing will convince you.
Sure Gary Bettman draws boos, but during that special moment when the keepers of the Cup carry the shining chalice in all its glory to center ice, the crowd at the Wachovia Center cheered. And this wasn’t just the Blackhawks fans in the building, there was a good crowd hootin’ and hollerin’.
Even though their team had come so close, the Flyers fans finished as terrific hockey fans. Win or lose, you always cheer the Cup and that sound and image gave me goosebumps and made that once-a-year moment even more chilling and enjoyable. Here’s hoping this generation of Flyers fans get a little closer to the Cup than they did after Game 6.
When Patrick Kane had the puck in overtime along the boards and head-faked Kimmo Timonen, did anybody else have a moment of ‘is this it?’
Kane is one of the best at slipping away off a move like that and was crashing the net off the rush all playoff long. As a defending unit, you don’t want to see him in a position where he’s comfortable enough to pull off that move and after he tricked Timonen there was no one else in his way.
Of course, I didn’t see it go in and the game couldn’t have ended in a more anti-climactic fashion. What’s with the NHL’s (bad) luck on this sort of memorable moment?
IS PHANEUF READY?
Good to see the Maple Leafs finally name a new captain, but I wonder if Dion Phaneuf really knows what he’s getting himself into.
It takes a special and responsible person to fulfil this role and Mats Sundin was a shining example of how to handle the job. Phaneuf isn’t exactly known as an easy-going guy on camera and more often looks like a deer caught in headlights than the face of the franchise.
How will Phaneuf handle being ‘the guy’ when the Leafs hit a losing skid? Sundin would take the hit and answer the questions, even when it looked like he didn’t want to be there. We can only hope Phaneuf learns to take it as seriously as the respected vet and doesn’t pass, or avoid, the buck.
Talk about not earning your respect. Adam Burish showed just how young the Blackhawks are with his comments about Chris Pronger while celebrating the Cup win on the ice.
Sorry, Adam, but if you want to talk trash after winning, you should become a full-timer first. What happened to a little sportsmanship, honor and respect for your opponent?
During the game, it’s all about making life miserable for the other team and few are better at that than Pronger. But after a long and hard-fought series like this final, it’s only right to tip your hat to the other team and especially to a player like Pronger who so thoroughly slowed down Chicago.
Punch him in the head? Give me a break. Next time take care of business in one of the three games you do dress up for.
Rory Boylen is TheHockeyNews.com's web editor. His blog and his column, The Boylen Point, appear regularly.
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