The Stanley Cup playoffs begin Wednesday and we’re excited. Yes, we prefer football, basketball and baseball over hockey. That being said, the NHL playoffs are the best playoffs of all the major sports.
That’s no joke.
Rarely are there lopsided series, even in the first round. Any team in the playoffs can beat any other team. There are always surprises. But the main thing that differentiates the NHL playoffs from everything is else is the intensity level.
Take the intensity level of the regular season and multiply it by 1,000. Take the NBA playoffs and multiply the intensity level by 50. The same goes for the NFL, which we love dearly. Baseball’s playoffs are the only thing that’s in the same stratosphere because every pitch matters, but those guys aren’t beating the hell out of each other and they aren’t playing with injuries that would put the rest of us in the hospital. Hockey players are.
So, to prime you for the NHL playoffs, here’s your need to know about Lord Stanley’s Cup.
- It was first awarded in 1893 to Montreal HC
- It’s the only trophy in pro sports that isn’t remade each year — the same cup is passed from champion to champion
- All players, coaches and management of the Stanley Cup winning team have their names engraved on the chalice
- They each get a day with The Cup following the Finals
- The Cup is guarded by one man, who spends around 250 days out of the year with it
- The reason there’s a guardian is because of the 1993-94 New York Rangers, who damaged The Cup while bar hopping after winning it
- The Cup is accessible — people can touch it, kiss it, etc., but only winners of The Cup can hoist it above their head or pour booze into it
- The Cup holds 14 cans of beer
- It gets cleaned one-to-three times each day when players have it
- There have been 11 engraving errors on The Cup, some to team names — the majority haven’t been corrected
- Weighs 34.5 lbs.
Philadelphia at Pittsburgh, Los Angeles at Vancouver and Detroit at Nashville are the series that begin Wednesday. Here’s your 2012 Stanley Cup TV schedule.