Lightning Claim First Stanley Cup!
Well, for the second year in a row, I watched the Stanley Cup Final with my loving-hubby:) I would have to say that this year's final wasn't as emotional as last year's. I did not cry (as I did last year when Giggy got the Conn Smythe), but there were tears... Watching these men revel in what they'd accomplished, I saw these little boys in them who had dreamed their whole lives of winning The Stanley Cup. As I watched them pass the Cup from one to the other, each would kiss the Cup and lift it high overhead...their little boy dreams came true...and that brought tears to my eyes.
Les and I had kind of been cheering for Calgary.. (I still can't believe that?!...We don't really like Calgary, but they seemed like our great Canadian hope, and they were such a dedicated and hard-working team!) As we watched last night's game though, we got to the point where we just wanted the better team to win. Tampa was out-playing Calgary most of the game, and when Calgary woke up with 10 minutes left, it was too little too late. All through the game, CBC was following the gathering in Brad Richard's (Tampa player) hometown in PEI. And after the game, Bettman presented the Conn Smythe Trophy for the Most Valuable Player in the playoffs to none-other-than...Brad Richards! I guess Canada did win afterall!
In fact, after the game, CBC had a little feature highlighting each Tampa player and where they were from and who their hockey hero was growing up. It seemed to me that the Tampa Bay team was largely made up of Canadian boys. Maybe Canada did win afterall!
I know there's alot of debate about the expansion in the league that has resulted in more teams in the States. Somehow it sounds odd to think that a team that resides in Florida just won the cup, but I bet you the boys on the team don't think of it that way...they're just grateful that team exists so they can play. Perhaps this very expansion that has watered down much of the talent in the NHL is the very thing that has made more Canadian boys' dreams come true as they found places to play the game they loved. Look at Martin St. Louis...he had an amazing season, but just a few year's ago he was an underachiever and actually found himself being traded away from the Calgary Flames. Perhaps if the league hadn't expanded, he might not have gotten this chance...perhaps...and oh yeah, he's a Canadian boy too...
Canada DID win, afterall!!