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Afternoon Links

Stanley Cup Celebration musings

Even though the game last night wasn’t the most exciting, or entertaining, and was essentially decided by a call in the first period made at the ref’s discretion, I’ll always enjoy the final game of the hockey season when the cup is handed out. CBC does a great job on their broadcast year after year and last night was no exception.

Everyone has their favourite parts, whether it’s when Gary Bettman gets booed, the Conn Smythe Trophy gets handed out, or when the champions pass the cup around. It’s a scene like no other watching grown men cry, hug each other and drop f-bombs. It’s a celebration of hockey and the long road playing as a child, to becoming a professional athlete. Family, friends, ex-coaches all helped each player along the way to get there and are given their due in each post game interview.

Other tidbits worth noting.

-When they introduce each cup winner at the end, it is always interesting to see who was each players’ favourite player growing up. There were lots of Gretzky and Yzerman’s, but someone always has a player that you wouldn’t expect to be there. I forget who, but someone selected Bob Rouse who amassed 1559 penalty minutes in 1061 games from 1983 to 2000. If I were ever to win the Stanley Cup, my pick would be Pavel Bure.

-A personal favourite part of the Stanley Cup post game celebration is when the healthy scratches go on the ice and get their turn to lift the cup. Kyle Clifford, Andrei Loktionov, Scott Parse, Brad Richardson, Kevin Westgarth, Davis Drewiskie among others may not have played in the final game, but were certainly part of the team throughout the season and got their chance to lift the cup. My question is, at what point are these guys getting ready to put their equipment on in the dressing room?

-For all the coverage Tay Stevens and other celebrities got, I don’t think CBC paid enough attention to LA Kings anthem singer Pia Toscano, who was referred to by Luc Robataille as the Kings “lucky charm” and did an exceptional job game after game.

-Every time they showed Matthew Perry, he looked completely out of it. When Scott Oake was set to interview him, I thought that it was going to be a disaster. But Perry was surprisingly coherent and gave an entertaining interview that showed the comedic talent that he brought to his Chandler Bing character on Friends.

And now it’s time for the news.

Stanley Cup Finals

New York Times: The Honest Devils Fan Knows the Truth. Nobody would have predicted that cup final, let alone the Devils finishing ahead of the Rangers, Penguins and Flyers. While New Jersey deserved a better fate than they got last night, their fans should be proud of what they were able to accomplish this season.

The Sporting News: Devils’ Steve Bernier left to pick up pieces after key penalty, Cup loss. When Steve Beriner ran Rob Scuderi into the boards, it quickly became an iconic moment in Stanley Cup history (or infamy). Having made a blunder in an important game in minor hockey (that I still get grief about many years later), I feel for Bernier who was just trying to finish his check. When the call was made to be a five minute major, my initial reaction was “not like this.” It’s too bad that the Devils had to go down that way, but on the flip side the Kings were the better team and deserved to win. Coaches Corner: What was Rob Scuderi thinking? One of the few times in recent memory that Don Cherry is spot on. If I’m Scuderi there, I’ll keep the puck moving forward around the net, rather than stopping, turning my back to the forechecker and putting myself in a vulnerable position.

Toronto Sun: L.A. has no intention of winning just one cup.With core of Richards, Carter, Kopitar, Doughty, Brown, Williams and Quick locked up for a few seasons the party could continue in the City of Angels. Alumni Hoist Stanley Cup. Now in it’s tenth season, the USHL is becoming a strong developer of hockey talent. On the Kings team Trevor Lewis, Matt Greene, and Alec Martinez previous played in the USHL. As well as healthy scratches Scott Parse, Davis Drewiskie and scout Tony Gasparini. At last year’s draft we spoke with Gasparini and USHL commissioner Skip Prince. Look to hear more about the USHL in this year’s upcoming draft.

TMZ: The first place we took the Stanley Cup was... Not a usual contributor of hockey related content but with the Stanley Cup being paraded around LA, home of the paparazzi, you knew TMZ would get some content from this party. Click for a picture of the cup on top of some bar and Jon Quick posting with the Conn Smythe trophy with some fans.

TMZ: The losers can party too. It’s not quite Rob Gronkowski after losing the Super Bowl, but TMZ cameras caught the Devils going into their limos after partying at some club in LA. Drink if you win, drink if you lose, I guess. (Don’t bother clicking on the link, it’s just some idiot walking up to the Devils asking them dumb questions as they go into a cab).

The Rest Penguins favoured to win 2013 Stanley Cup. The Penguins are favoured at 7/1, Kings at 11/1, and then Blues, Canucks, Blackhawks and Red Wings are in a logjam at 12/1. The Jets are tied with the Avalanche, Stars, Senators, and Coyotes at 40/1. So you’re telling me there’s a chance.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: How can Blues end the league’s longest cup drought. With the Kings winning, the Blues now hold the longest cup drought in the league at 44 seasons. After winning the division this season, the pieces are in place for them to be competitive for years to come.

The Hockey News: Who has interest in Radulov? Apparently the Rangers are in on the Russian forward, as well as first liners Rick Nash, Bobby Ryan and Zach Parise. Well it looks like the Rangers are in on everybody. Red Wings believe Tomas Holmstrom wants to play next season, but will wait to make decision. We spoke about this on last week’s Illegal Curve Hockey Show with Bob Duff who thought that Lidstrom and Holmstrom were a package deal. He indicated that Holmstrom was unhappy in his fourth line/power play specialist role. Ansar Khan reports that Ken Holland says Holmstrom is leaning towards playing. Hopefully this doesn’t become an ongoing will he/won’t he saga. (Which it probably won’t.)

CSN Bay Area: How should Sharks fans feel? If you are a Sharks fan…pretty awful, they’ve been Stanley Cup contenders favourites for almost ten years now and have been unable to even make it past the conference final.