Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/04/06 at 12:38 PM ET
The Stanley Cup Finals pit the Edmonton Oilers, who play in the smallest NHL city in Canada, against the Carolina Hurricanes, whose Raleigh-Durham area is the 29 th-largest television market in the United States. Much will be made of this before Game 1, to be played in the RBC Center in Raleigh on Monday night. It’s Lilliput against the Lollipop Guild.... There is one other theme that will color the Finals. Much like the Calgary-Tampa Bay series of 2004, there will be a Canada vs. Sun Belt mentality. The nation to the north will rally behind the Oilers and disparage Carolina as a backwater place that has no understanding for the game. "It’s electric here," said John Forslund, the television voice of the Hurricanes. "We’re not going to overwhelm people compared with what’s going on in Edmonton, but it’s pretty wild here. And we still have some semblance of order. We didn’t have to take the team to New York or anything." Forslund laughed. He was poking a little fun at the Oilers, who fled their maddened hometown and made final preparations at a rink in Westchester County outside New York. "It’s a lot different down here than in ’02, when the bandwagon to the Finals was 6 miles long," Forslund said of the Hurricanes’ five-game loss to Detroit.read on
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