In Stanley Cup lore, there are few pictures extra iconic than Ray Bourque with the game’s final prize held raised over his head within the aftermath of the Colorado Avalanche’s 2001 victory.
After receiving the Stanley Cup from commissioner Gary Bettman, Colorado captain Joe Sakic didn’t a lot as raise it an inch above his shoulders earlier than handing it on to Bourque, a first-ballot Corridor of Famer and blueline legend who had waited his total profession to have his second with Lord Stanley’s mug. It undoubtedly helps that broadcaster Gary Thorne made Bourque’s Cup elevate that rather more particular along with his sensible name. His narration – “After 22 years…Raymond Bourque!” – was the proper addition to an already emotional on-ice second.
In a means, Bourque’s celebration with the Stanley Cup impressed a brand new speaking level surrounding the trophy. In fact, there had been others prior to now who had been the direct recipients of the Stanley Cup from the captain following a victory, and the custom actually took roots within the early-1990s, but it surely was Bourque’s second that actually sparked the annual dialogue about which participant was most deserving of being the second to seize ahold of and hoist the NHL’s Holy Grail.
Final season, the glory went to the Washington Capitals’ Nicklas Backstrom, who was handed the Cup after Alex Ovechkin had his second. The 12 months prior, it was Ron Hainsey, who had by no means performed in a post-season recreation earlier than profitable the Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins. And the 12 months earlier than that, when the Penguins received their first of back-to-back titles, it was Trevor Daley, who had battled by accidents and had his mom’s battle with most cancers weighing on him, who obtained the Cup from Sidney Crosby.
So, who’s the recipient of the primary Stanley Cup go following Wednesday’s Recreation 7? Clearly that relies upon whether or not it’s the Bruins or Blues who really win the factor, however as soon as the champion is set, will probably be as much as both Boston’s Zdeno Chara or St. Louis’ Alex Pietrangelo handy off the hardware. Listed below are the top-three candidates to obtain the primary go relying on the victor:
BOSTON BRUINSPatrice BergeronIn 2011, Bergeron, who scored two objectives within the Stanley Cup-deciding contest, watched Mark Recchi obtain the primary go from Chara. Under no circumstances was Recchi an undeserving recipient, however now may be the time for Bergeron to get his first-pass second. Although he doesn’t put on the ‘C’ in Boston, it usually feels as if the Bruins have two captains, with Bergeron the 1B to Chara’s 1A. The longtime Bruins pivot has at all times executed all the pieces proper in Boston and he’s a no brainer to have his jersey retired. With that stated, who is aware of when he’ll get this opportunity once more, so what higher time to make it notably particular? Oh, it additionally doesn’t harm his case that he delivered what was by all accounts a rousing speech earlier than the Bruins saved their season with a win in Recreation 6.
Tuukka RaskIf the Bruins win the Cup, Rask goes to be introduced with the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Actually, the one means that doesn’t occur is that if Bergeron or Brad Marchand or Bobby Orr himself goes out and scores six objectives in Recreation 7. All proper, so the latter can’t occur and two former received’t, however you get the purpose. With that in thoughts, there could also be no higher approach to reward Rask for his play, which was instrumental in getting the Bruins so far within the first place, than making him the primary participant to raise the Stanley Cup after Chara. In contrast to Bergeron, who received the Cup as a top-line participant in 2011, Rask, who was a backup for that victory, had his first Stanley Cup remaining as a starter finish in devastating vogue. The primary Cup go might assist erase that reminiscence.
David BackesUnfortunately for Backes, who has waited his total profession to get so far, he’s going to look at Recreation 7 from the sidelines as a wholesome scratch. That needs to be powerful to abdomen, win or lose. However what might certainly soothe that sting is that if he’s the primary participant to obtain the Cup from Chara, and Backes is actually deserving. Sure, he didn’t play a lot within the collection – 4 video games and a mean of 9:36 in these contests – however Backes is nearing 1,000 video games and has by no means received the Stanley Cup. And it’s not as if there’s no precedent right here. Many anticipated Crosby to go the Cup to Pascal Dupuis, who missed virtually the whole 2015-16 season, after the Penguins’ first of consecutive title wins. That didn’t occur, with the trophy as a substitute going to Daley. Dupuis did get it third, nevertheless.
ST. LOUIS BLUESJay BouwmeesterYou can virtually assure there’s already been hushed conversations about Bouwmeester getting the Stanley Cup from Pietrangelo. And if not conversations – hockey gamers do are usually the superstitious sort, in any case, so they won’t danger the so-called jinx – the Blues’ management group has undoubtedly a minimum of thought of handing the hardware off to the veteran rearguard. After 1,184 NHL video games, greater than 700 of which had been performed with out as soon as seeing post-season motion, Bouwmeester deserves the prospect to raise the Cup. He additionally deserves it as a result of he’s executed sensible work this post-season in a shutdown function for St. Louis. Alongside Colton Parayko, Bouwmeester has drawn all the hardest assignments and shut down the opposition’s finest, or a minimum of saved them comparatively quiet, all post-season.
Alexander SteenSteen was the decide in The Hockey Information’ Playoff Preview and he’s certainly an amazing selection. He has for years been one of many members of the management group. Acquired by St. Louis in the course of the 2008-09 season, Steen has worn an ‘A’ on his sweater because the 2010-11 marketing campaign and has performed 710 of his 963 profession common season video games with the Blues. To place that into perspective, he’s sixth all-time on the franchise’s video games performed record, will transfer into third all-time if he performs a minimum of 70 video games subsequent season and second all-time if he performs a minimum of 94 video games over the following two campaigns. He’s been a mainstay in St. Louis, and if he’s not second, he ought to undoubtedly be third.
Ryan O’ReillyThe Blues can be nowhere with out O’Reilly, who’s St. Louis’ prime contender for the Conn Smythe Trophy getting into Recreation 7 and has unquestionably been the group’s MVP from the start of the season by to Wednesday’s finale. After main the Blues in common season scoring, O’Reilly’s seven objectives and 21 factors leads St. Louis in post-season manufacturing. He has been their finest participant at any place within the remaining, to not point out their best, and he’s given all the pieces. Recreation 7 of the ultimate might be O’Reilly’s 108th recreation of the season, which is able to tie him for the second-most video games performed in a single NHL marketing campaign in league historical past. Primarily based on that alone, it could safely be stated that nobody has given extra to the Blues this season than O’Reilly, so he’d be extremely deserving of being the second participant to the touch the Stanley Cup ought to St. Louis win.
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Tags: boston bruins, st. louis blues, stanley cup playoffsConnect: In regards to the AuthorJared ClintonJared Clinton is a author and internet editor with The Hockey Information. He is been with the group since 2014. He was born, raised and resides in Winnipeg, the place he might be discovered lacking the online on outside rinks throughout city.