The Stanley Cup Playoffs is pretty much the most intense sporting event known to man. The games are not for the timid, squeamish, or the faint of heart (and I’m just talking about the viewers). Since the Minnesota Wild don’t have a real team, I use a complex formula to decide who I’m rooting for during the playoffs. Two of the factors I use are: does the team have any UND players; AND, if they win the Stanley Cup, will they bring it back to Grand Forks? Well…basically, those are the only two factors I use.
Using this formula, my team this year was the Los Angeles Kings. UND player? Check. Bring the Cup back to Grand Forks? Check. In fact, I could almost picture it at The Ralph and at a local tavern that loves all things hockey, Nascar, and Minnesota Twins. My kind of place. But while the Kings made a 30 point improvement on last year’s record, they bowed out of the playoffs on Sunday night. As did the New Jersey Devils, which boasts two former Fighting Sioux. Last night, the Buffalo Sabres and Drew Stafford were eliminated. I know there are a couple of other UND guys still in the hunt, but I’m now "cheering" for the Blackhawks and Jonathan Toews. I think it would be fitting for Toews to bring the Cup back to Grand Forks for a visit (Jonathan, bring your Gold Medal too), but that will require 12 more wins for Chicago. And if you’ve ever watched a Stanley Cup Playoff game, you know how hard that will be.