Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/31/13 at 09:00 AM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Boston and Chicago have the added cachet of being Original Six teams, with loyal fans scattered around the hockey world. Pittsburgh has Sidney Crosby, the face of the league, which will come into greater focus, now that he’s been medically cleared to dispense with the mouth guard he’s worn for two rounds to protect his broken jaw. Los Angeles is the hard-working interloper, sort of a modern-day answer to the New York Islanders’ dynasty.
These are all pressure-tested teams; their collective rosters include 56 players who’ve have their names engraved on the Stanley Cup, 19 of them playing for Los Angeles, 18 for Boston.
But the most talked-about player might be the one searching for his first Stanley Cup, Jarome Iginla, the popular ex-Calgary Flames captain, who joined the Penguins at the trading deadline, eschewing the option of going to Boston because he wanted to play on the same team as Crosby, his fellow Canadian Olympian. In Calgary, almost from the moment Iginla left town, Flames fans jumped on the Penguins bandwagon, in the hopes that he would be rewarded with a championship after his long and loyal service in the Stampede City.
from Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province,
So the NHL has what are essentially its dream matchups at this stage of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The stars of the Pens are playing the always-present and menacing Boston Bruins, and the two largest U.S. markets in the West are clashing in L.A. and Chicago.
And in both cases, you have this Good vs. Evil think going - at least, that's the way some Vancouver Canuck fans might look at it.
And there are other ways to state the same thing. You have Finesse vs. Muscle, Skill vs. Physicality, Artistry vs. Thug-gery and any other descriptions you'd care to apply to these clashes, both of which will, of course, draw terrific television audiences.
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