All eyes will be on Game 6 of the NHL's Eastern Conference finals this evening. And while we don't yet know whether the New Jersey Devils will eliminate the Rangers at home or whether New York will force its third Game 7 in as many series, regardless of what happens, there are some things we can predict with certainty.
A couple of weeks from now, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will walk out onto the ice. People will boo him, as they always do, and he will be completely impervious to it, as he always is. He will drone merrily for a bit, then present the Stanley Cup to the winning team's captain. And that captain will be, with my apologies to Don Cherry, a GOOD AMERICAN BOY.
There's been only one Stanley Cup–winning team captained by an American-born player: Derian Hatcher's Dallas Stars, who defeated the Buffalo Sabres in 1999 in a game best known for its controversial in-the-crease finish. But this year, all three teams who remain alive in the postseason — the lying-in-wait Los Angeles Kings in the West, and the Rangers and Devils back East — have 27-year-old red-white-and-blue-blooded gentlemen donning the "C."
O beautiful for tenacious guys! Let's meet them, shall we?