It’s time for all the French Canadians who disrespectfully “boo” the American National Anthem to start talking their French smack. You always wonder if the Montreal fans realize that by booing the American anthem they are disrespecting the best players on their team. Ahh French Canadians… The Montreal Canadiens have completed one of the greatest upsets in NHL history and rattled the betting odds by defeating the President Trophy winners, the Washington Capitals. Behind white hot goaltending from Hab goalie Jaroslav Halak, the Habs stormed back from a 3-1 series deficit to shock the capitals in game 7. Read more.
You can’t really compare Canada to US hockey teams based on their country because most of the time the best players on the US hockey teams are Canadians and less of the time vice versa. But there does seem to be something special about Canadian based hockey teams in the playoffs and their appetite for upsetting top ranked US teams when it counts. It must be the crazy Canadian fans. Here’s some of the more notable NHL Canadian team upsets that have taken place over the past decade…
Calgary Flames Upset Detroit Red Wings In 2004 Western Conference Final
Yet another President Trophy winning team ousted by an upstart Canadian hockey team. Detroit had been the best team in the league all season long, Calgary had just barely made the playoffs as a number 6 seed but that didn’t stop Jerome Iginla and his boys from pulling off the upset. The city of Calgary was a sight to see, the main attraction being the “Red Mile” a street in downtown Calgary littered with crazy Flames fans, naked girls and tobacco spit. The Flames would go on to lose in the Stanley Cup Finals in seven games to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Montreal Canadiens Upset Boston Bruins In 2002 Eastern Conference Quaterfinals
Montreal seems to like being the number eight seed, they upset the Bruins in 2002 when their captain Saku Koivu came back from beating cancer to help the Canadiens beat the Boston Bruins in six games. He beat cancer, beating the Bruins was childsplay.
Edmonton Oilers Upset Detroit Red Wings In 2006 Western Conference Final
Yet another 8 seeded Canadian team barely making the playoffs, marched through the first round to upset the top seeded Detroit Red Wings in six games. It was the same formula, hot goaltending and spirited play that got the job done. Unfortunately, for Oiler fans, the run fell short as the Oiler lost to Carolina Hurricanes in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. Along the way the party in Edmonton reached epic proportions on what they term the Blue Mile…Maybe too Epic. Am I the only one who found that mildly humerous?
Can History Repeat Itself?
Montreal right now has an extremely hot goaltender and is getting spirited play from everyone who gets on the ice. The atmosphere in Montreal is electric and if history is any indicator, then we should be watching the beginning of a magical Stanley Cup run. Let’s snap back to reality for a moment though, the Habs face Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins next. As much as it will make betting on this series as exciting as it can be, and as much as Canadian teams get fired up by the passion from Canadian fans, the Habs are going up against the defending champs and Captain Canada himself, I think the buck stops here.
As history as shown though, stranger things have happened.