Canadian pride in playoffs

The NHL playoff run is underway with 16 teams vying for the opportunity when they can sip some bubbly from Lord Stanley’s mug.

Only one of those teams, the Montreal Canadiens, made it to the post-season party and that fact apparently has some hockey fans north of the 49th a little upset.

The cry is going out – what is wrong with Canadian hockey?

Some are even asking if we as Canadians have lost the right to claim hockey as our game while others despair that the cup won’t be coming to Canada.

While it is true there is only one Canadian-based team in the post-season, the logic behind thinking we are doomed as a hockey nation is a little bit off the mark.

Okay, way off the mark!

A quick scan of some top-ranked American-based hockey teams shows the rosters are very much stocked with more Canadians than Americans and players from across the pond.

The top-ranked team this season is the Boston Bruins who boast 15 Canadian-born players in their lineup as compared to four Americans and seven players from overseas.

The Los Angeles Kings for example have 13 Canucks wearing their jersey with five Americans and four players from outside of North America.

The San Jose Sharks can lay claim to 15 players who were born on Canadian soil (including Brad Stuart from Rocky Mountain House), six Americans and 11 from elsewhere.

So when a fan bemoans the fact only one Canadian team is playing while six others are playing golf somewhere, the real story is how many of our young hockey players are still hard at it.

We should also remember this little tidbit of information and tradition.

When their U.S.-based team wins the Stanley Cup, the trophy will come to Canada in the hands of those proud players who call this country home. It will make its way to tiny little communities around the prairies, through the Canadian Shield, out to the east coast and up and down the left coast of B.C.

So no matter what the location of the team, there is still plenty of red and white flavour flowing throughout this playoff year.

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