Lord Stanley’s Cup goes to the last NHL team standing after a series of four playoff rounds where each round is best-of-seven. The playoffs usually run mid-April to early June and are, in my opinion, the toughest 7-8 weeks of any sporting event for the teams that continue on. For all cuts, bruises, hits and stitches taken on over the season, you can expect twice that in the playoffs.
The following are some interesting facts about the Stanley Cup and the Stanley Cup playoffs.
- The Stanley Cup is unique in that it has the names of all the previous winning players, coaches, management and staff engraved on it.
- The Stanley Cup was not awarded in 1919 due to a flu epidemic (see The Sports Archives History Lesson – Stanley Cup Playoffs Closed Due To Flu ).
- The first woman to have her name engraved on the cup is Marguerite Norris, president of the 1954 Detroit Red Wings.
- Still the only team to win the Stanley Cup after being down 3-0 and coming back to win 4 straight in the finals is the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Detroit Red Wings in 1942.
- From 1995 to 1998 the broom was taken out by the New Jersey Devils, the Colorado Avalanche, and twice by the Detroit Red Wings as these teams swept their opponents in the Stanley Cup finals. (The NHL must have lost a lot of money those years!)
- The St. Louis Blues were in the Stanley Cup finals in 1968, 1969 and 1970, but did not win a game.
- Speaking of shutouts, goalie Frank McCool of the Toronto Maple Leafs scored 3 consecutive shutouts in the 1945 Stanley Cup finals and did not allow a goal in 192 minutes.
- In his first 5 years from 1955 to 1960, Coach Toe Blake won 5 consecutive Stanley Cups for the Montreal Canadiens.
- The Montreal Canadiens won a record 10 consecutive overtime victories including 3 in the finals while on their way to winning the 1993 Stanley Cup Championship. (see The Sports Archives Greatest Moments – Montreal Canadiens Overtime Playoff Victories )
- Last minute heroics were demonstrated in the 1964 Stanley Cup finals between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The first three games were decided by a goal in the final minute.
- Every game of the 1951 Stanley Cup finals went into overtime with Montreal losing 4 of 5 to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
- Before the New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994, opposing fans (especially Islander fans) would shout “1940” at them as a reminder of the last time they had won the cup!