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Old 06-17-2011, 03:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bill Simmons on why the NHL has the best post-game championship ceremony

The whole article is good, but I found the part about the actual winning ceremony pretty cool.

That's one of hockey's trump cards, everything that happens right after a team wins the championship: starting with everyone racing happily towards the winning goalie and throwing their sticks and gloves in the air, continuing with the fascinating handshake line (when all bad blood from the series mysteriously disappears), then culminating with the emotional Cup ceremony and the signature team picture at mid-ice.

Unlike football or basketball, the ice isn't littered with people who don't belong there. Unlike baseball, the trophy is phenomenally cool (iconic, even). Every June, each winning player skates around holding the Cup over his head — always screaming in disbelief, kissing the Cup once or twice, then handing it to the next deliriously happy teammate — only the moment means something different to each of them. That's what I love the most about it: not the process as much as interpreting those particular moments. You can see everything they're thinking.

For instance, Chara looked so freaking happy that it almost looked like he was going to tip over like a tall building. Recchi knew it was his final game, the perfect way to go out, and savored it accordingly. Lucic couldn't believe it was happening in Vancouver, the place he grew up, and looked like he might start bawling. Bergeron pumped it in the air with extra gusto, knowing that he's probably one more unlucky concussion from never playing again. Horton held the Cup high without a hint of bitterness, ecstatic to be there and not in a hospital bed. Marchand bathed in one last round of boos from the Canucks fans — who simply hated him, and rightfully so — holding the Cup high to stick it to them one more time. Seguin almost didn't know what to do with it and quickly passed it off, like he was thinking, "I'm too young for this, how did this happen?"

And Thomas? He took the Cup for a little extra ride, skating in the other direction with it, doing a quick mini-lap and basking in the past two months. Tim Thomas will always be remembered in Boston for many reasons, but mainly this one: The Bruins goalie finally got hot. You could say it was 40 years coming. Because it would be true.
After almost four decades of missteps and missed opportunities the Bruins reign supreme - Grantland
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