Why The Stanley Cup Is the Best Championship In Sports
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Sports

Why The Stanley Cup Is the Best Championship In Sports

And it's not just because of the trophy.

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Why The Stanley Cup Is the Best Championship In Sports

On Monday, the Chicago Blackhawks won their third Stanley Cup in six years, and their sixth in franchise history. They are one of the best run franchises in sports, and are the closest thing the NHL has to a dynasty right now. I’m not going to try to convince anyone that the Blackhawks are or aren’t a dynasty, I just want to take a minute to appreciate everything that makes this sport so great, and why this championship is the best in sports.

First of all, hockey players are by far the toughest athletes of the major pro sports. Watch any hockey game, especially during the playoffs, and honestly tell me that this isn't true. After Game Six of the finals, we found that Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop played the last three games with a torn groin, and forward Tyler Johnson played with a broken wrist. When the Boston Bruins lost the Stanley Cup in 2013, forward Patrice Bergeron played through a separated shoulder, a broken nose, and get this; a punctured lung.

On the other hand, in the NBA Finals last year LeBron James was practically carried off of the court because of a muscle cramp. The will to win that hockey players possess is unmatched, which makes the Stanley Cup that much harder to obtain. You know that the opponent is going to drain all the blood and sweat (no tears, this is hockey) they have into winning.

Don't get me wrong, every professional athlete puts in tremendous effort, especially in the playoffs; it’s just that hockey players take it to a sickening new level. This is because one shift of you not putting your body on the line could end up costing your team the game, maybe even the series. Which leads me to my next point, the microscopic margin of error associated with the Cup.

The difference between Tampa Bay and Chicago in this series was minimal at best. Throughout the six-game series, neither team had a multi-goal lead until around five minutes left in the third period of Game 6. If the puck bounced slightly different here or there, this could have been an entirely different series. While there is an element of luck to hockey games, the great teams are able to create their own luck. This is shown when teams chase rebounds into the glass, create pressure on the forecheck, take slap shots to the chest when the goalie is out of position, or just put their heads down and out-skate their opponents. When the teams are this evenly matched, it's the inches won or lost through toughness on the ice that determines who wins or loses the game.

I will admit that I am not as big of a hockey fan as some people. I follow my hometown team, the Blackhawks, enough to know what is going on during the regular season. However, I can't rattle off obscure stats or know the roster up, down and backwards like I do with basketball or football. I can appreciate hockey because I am a sports fan, and hockey is a sport that takes a set of stones with their own gravitational pull to play professionally. If you’re a sports fan of any kind, you should appreciate it too, whether you call yourself a hockey fan or not.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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