Monday, June 19, 2006

There Can Only Be One

For the fourth time in five Cup finals, the Stanley Cup will be decided by a Game Seven. Allthe work through 82 regular season games and at least 16 playoff games come down to at least 60 minutes of hard work and grit to get the greatest trophy in all of sports.

With the momentum coming in, the Edmonton Oilers much feel real good. They dashed the hopes of the Hurricanes in Game Five's overtime then laid the smackdown on them in Game Six. Jussi Markkanen has been good, but yet I'm sure the Oilers would want Dwayne Roloson in net just to be sure. Chris Pronger and Fernando Pisani are the leading candidates for the Conn Smythe Award for playoff MVP, and the best players on the team are the best players on the ice-- which is a good sign for the Oil.

The Carolina Hurricanes need to shake off the lack of urgency they have right now in order to win the Cup. After being taken to the woodshed, there's going to have to be some changes. One change will be to flip the switch on Rod Brind'Amour to get him to play like he is known to play. The return of Erik Cole can only do so much and I'm second-guessing if it was a good move or not. As much as Cole is going to bring some hype, a guy like Chad LaRose who was grinding it out all playoffs gets the shaft. The one thing the Canes can count on is Cam Ward. Ward was the best player on the Canes side of the rink, which is a good sign for the Canes, if only they gave him some support around the net.

Some fast facts for you folks out there:

-Home teams are 11-2 in Game Sevens with the last road win coming in 1971
-The record of teams who were down 1-3 and pushed it to a Game Seven is 1-4 in the Game Seven with the last win happening in 1942 and the last occurance happening in 1994
-The last overtime Game Seven was in 1950 when the Red Wings beat the Rangers in two OTs
-If the Oilers win, it would be the first time a Canadian team has won it since 1993
-If the 'Canes win, the curse of the Whalers, if there is one, will be lifted

It should be a good game, all-in-all, and I don't see either team coming out flat. There's the Canes who don't want to play the role of the goat, while the Oilers want to keep their momentum going and bring the Cup back to Canada. The RBC Center should be rocking tonight as Lord Stanley's Cup will be brought out tonight regardless of who wins. For the majority in attendance, the consensus will be the Canes winning it.

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