The 2011 Stanley Cup semi-finals are gearing up with the Tampa Bay Lightning taking on the Boston Bruins and the San Jose Sharks are up against the Vancouver Canucks. To get you in the Stanley Cup mood, we thought you would enjoy some more interesting facts about the Stanley Cup and the Stanley Cup playoffs. (see The Sports Archives – Stanley Cup Memories and Fun Facts).
- The Boston Bruins have not won the Cup since 1971-72. The Lightning took home the Cup in 2003-04 just 12 years after joining the NHL and 3 years after posting 4 consecutive seasons of 50 or more losses.
- The San Jose Sharks have never been in the Stanley Cup finals and the Vancouver Canucks have never won the Stanley Cup in their 40 years of existence.
- After winning the Stanley Cup in 1947, the Toronto Maple Leafs swept the next two Stanley Cup finals in 1948 and 1949 which gave them 9 consecutive Stanley Cup victories.
- After just 9 years in the NHL, the New York Islanders eliminated their cross-town rivals, the New York Rangers (who were part of the ‘original six’), four years in a row from 1981 to 1984
- Lester Patrick was 44 years young and coach of the 1928 New York Rangers when he put himself in for injured goalie Lorne Chabot and helped the Rangers win the Stanley Cup with a 2-1 overtime victory.
- The player who has been on the most Stanley Cup championship teams is Henri Richard of the Montreal Canadiens. Between the years 1955 and 1975, Henri Richard and the Canadiens won 11 Stanley Cup finals.
- The individual who has his name engraved on the Stanley Cup more than anyone else is Jean Beliveau. His name appears 17 times; 10 times as a player and 7 times for management.
- There are names of 12 women engraved on the cup. Charlotte Grahame was added when the Colorado Avalanche won the Cup in 2001 and her son, John Grahame, was added in 2004 as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, making them the only Mother-Son combination with both their names on the Cup.
A great tradition of winning the Stanley Cup is when the captain of the winning team hoists it overhead and skates it around rink and then each player gets a turn to do the same. It is said that Ted Lindsay of the 1950 Detroit Red Wings started the tradition of hoisting up the Cup so the fans can get a better look. Later, the players share a drink of champagne from the bowl on top!