It is Stanley Cup Final time. I grew up when the NHL had only 6 teams. Hockey Night In Canada was on CTV on Wednesdays and CBC on Saturdays. Living only 70 miles from Montreal, it was pretty easy to follow the league goings on. Nothing is more exciting than an overtime Stanley Cup playoff game. And a game 7 in the final is the best of all. A memorable one for me was in 1971 when the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. The Canadiens had dispatched the hated and heavily favored Boston Bruins in Round 1 with a rookie goalie who had played only 6 games heading into the playoffs. Another great series was in 1974, when the expansion Philadelphia Flyers behind goalie Bernie Parent beat the favored Bruins in a 6 game series.
This year, the Detroit Red Wings hope to equal Toronto's trophy output of 11 by beating Pittsburgh's Penguins. The octopus, a Detroit staple in playoff hockey, came about in 1952 when just 8 wins were needed to win the famed Stanley Cup. The 8-legged creatures were tossed onto the ice as a symbol of victory. Which brings us tonight, though the Wings trail 2-0 in the 1st period. An octopus made it to the ice in the pre-game in what could be the final game tonight in Detroit. The zamboni driver started twirling the creatures a few years ago to the delight of the crowd. Thus increasing the legend of the octopus.