Though the country of Canada may be accredited with the founding of hockey, they haven’t been able to walk the walk in recent years. Canada’s hockey woes just got worse, too.
For the first time in 46 years, there will not be any Canadian teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs. With only 10 days left in the regular season, all six Canadian teams have been eliminated in the race to Lord Stanley.
Teams like Toronto and Edmonton were counted out of the playoffs, weeks ago, but the Montreal Canadiens’ run was cut off just two days ago in an absolutely devastating 10-2 loss to the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, the Chicago Blackhawks.
Fans all over Canada felt the heartbreak of this loss nailed the coffin shut on Canada’s playoff hopes. The Montreal Gazette ran the headline, “R.I.P. – A Stanley Cup dynasty ends: Canadiens (1949-70).” Then, “Habs blow it … play ball,” in reference to the beginning of the Toronto Blue Jays season starting soon.
Maybe we’re seeing the beginning of a major shift in North American athletics? Baseball to Canada and Hockey to the good ol’ USA?
Though I doubt the US will ever give up baseball, one can hope that hockey may find a new, or at least, second, home, south of the 49th parallel.
A Canadian team has not won the NHL title in 22 seasons.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports