All hail, Lord Stanley

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I have been putting this column off for way too long.

Now, I feel the time is right for it.

This weekend will mark the beginning of the greatest championship playoff in modern day sports.

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No, it’s not the NBA Finals, or even the World Cup, which I am really looking forward to.

Its, everyone brace yourselves, the Stanley Cup Finals.

For anyone who has not seen a game, now is the premier opportunity to do so.

The NHL playoffs are more intense and suspenseful than “24” and “LOST” combined, no joke.

Think about how difficult it is to shoot an item close to the size of an adult fist into a goal with some of the toughest guys in the world chasing you down and here’s the kicker – while on ice.

That’s something not many other athletes, besides maybe Steve Nash, could do.

Plus, the tradition the league has is unquestionably the best.

No other sport respects the championship trophy quite like the NFL players do with Lord Stanley’s Cup.

In no other sport do players not touch the conference trophy after winning it – simply because it’s not the trophy they are playing for.

The Stanley Cup has been around since 1893 and has ever coach, player, management and club staff member who won it engraved on it.

Baseball, basketball and football cannot say the same about their trophies.

On top of that, the two teams playing for the cup this season, while they may not personal favorites of mine, are both worthy of being in this position. The Blackhawks, who were one of the Original Six NHL teams, have the fourth-longest championship drought in the major professional sports, at 49 years.

Basically, they are hockey’s version of the Cubs.

The Flyers only got into the playoffs thanks to a play-in win over the Rangers that ended in a shoot out.

Hard not to like either of these teams.

Plus, there are always the fights, which there undoubtedly will be, knowing these to physical teams.

Regardless of whether you have seen a hockey game or not, do yourself a favor and check out some of these games.

Sure, some of the player’s names may be hard to pronounce and it may be difficult to track the puck every now and again.

But in the end, there is no better feeling in the sports fan’s world than watching a great hockey game.

Trust me.

Greg Rossino is the sports editor for The Messenger, and he can be reached at or on Twitter at Messenger_greg.