Let us not forget about the Stanley Cup Finals, fans of U.S. sports.
Unlike the NBA Finals, which need something drastic to induce any sort of drama, the ice hockey finals show all indications of going the full seven games to decide which side earns the honour of hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup.
The series is tied two-all after the Nashville Predators again rocked the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins, scoring a decisive 4 – 1 victory.
This is the first Cup finals for the Predators and they apparently do not intend to stand by idly while a team with a royal pedigree skates away with an easy victory.
The best-of-seven series returns to Pittsburgh for game five as a best-of-three affair. Thus far, having the home ice has proved the decisive edge in all four games. If that pattern holds, Nashville will have to win a game seven in the hostile environ of PPG Paints Arena.
The Predators got a huge assist from rookie Frederick Gaudreau, who has only appeared sparingly in post-season professional hockey, making just his sixth appearance. He does not even have a locker in Nashville’s locker room.
He has the remarkable claim of scoring the first three goals of his career in a Stanley Cup Final series.
The Predators date back to 1998. They have been formidable throughout the playoffs. Last night’s win improved their home record to 9 – 1. Nashville’s uniforms look suspiciously like cast-offs from another famous Pittsburgh franchise, the Steelers of the NFL, other than the logo on the front of the jersey.
The Penguins have not had an easy route to the final. They have lost two consecutive games on two occasions. The last team to win two consecutive Stanley Cups was the Detroit Redwings, winners in 1997 and 1998, the same year Nashville came into the league. The Penguins won two consecutive Cups in 1991 and 1992.