Hello and welcome to another edition of Tuesday Chat with Team Strava! This is a special time of year for those of us in North America. Winter has drawn to a close and signs of spring are everywhere. And for hockey fans like me, it’s time for the NHL Playoffs.
For those not familiar, NHL stands for National Hockey League and it isn’t strictly “national” in nature; in fact it encompasses teams from 2 countries - U.S.A. and Canada, and features players from many other countries. The teams compete with each other during the regular season to determine who qualifies for the playoffs, which usually begin around mid April.
Currently held by the Colorado Avalanche, The Stanley Cup is the championship trophy awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoff champion.
So - let the games begin!
Below are 6 trivia questions - if you can figure out the answers, drop them in a reply to this post (yes, googling is cheating; talking with other hockey fans is not) Good Luck to all!
1) Which Canadian Team, despite having previously won the Stanley Cup 13 times, and boasting one of the most passionate fan bases in the League, has endured a 56 year Stanley Cup drought, having last won the Cup in 1967? Hint: The name of this team shares an attribute with the Canadian flag.
2) Speaking of Stanley Cup droughts, which American Team had to endure chants of “1940” from the opposing team’s fans during their own 54 year drought? Hint: This team’s drought ended in 1994 when Captain Mark Messier led it to a Stanley Cup victory at Madison Square Garden.
3) On April 29th, 2016, the San Jose Sharks and the Nashville Predators were warming up at SAP Center for Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. Before the game started, an animal unexpectedly appeared on the ice and then disappeared under the bleachers. What was this animal and what happened to it? Hint: This story has a happy ending.
4) The “original six” refers to the six teams that made up the NHL between 1942 and 1967. These Teams include the Chicago Blackhawks, The Toronto Maple Leafs, The Detroit Red Wings and the New York Rangers. Can you name either or both of the remaining two teams? Hint: One of these remaining teams has won the Stanley Cup 24 times, more than any other team in the league. Hint #2: Both remaining Team cities are east of Chicago.
5) For the first time in 16 years, this American team (and my favorite team) did not qualify for the playoffs. Hint: Check out this photo that includes the Team Captain on the ice of his home rink, PPG Paints Arena.
6) Lastly, an extra hard question for bonus points - who coined the catchphrase, “It’s a Great Day for Hockey”? Hint: He coached the Calgary Flames for 5 seasons and then went on to coach the Pittsburgh Penguins to their Stanley Cup win in 1991. Hint #2: He was affectionately known by a nickname inspired by the animal shown to the left.
Will you be watching the playoffs this year? Drop us a reply and let us know who you’ll be cheering for!
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Hello! It's time for the answers to our hockey trivia:
1. Which Team hasn't won the Stanley Cup since 1967?
A: That would be The Toronto Maple Leafs! For anyone following this year's playoffs, you'll know that it's all on the line tonight - if the Leafs lose to the Panthers, they'll officially head into the 57th year of their Stanley Cup drought.
2. Which Team had to endure chants of "1940" during their own drought, which ended in 1994?
A: The New York Rangers went Stanley Cupless for 54 years, 1940-1994, and during that period were often taunted by the opposing team's fans with chants of "1940".
3. What animal appeared unexpectedly on the ice at SAP Center, before a San Jose Sharks playoff game in 2016?
A: A black kitten appeared and was quickly captured by arena staff and whisked to safety. Nicknamed "Joe Paw-velski", the feline was taken to the Humane Society of Silicon Valley where he was cared for and then adopted to a loving home.
4. The “original six” refers to the six teams that made up the NHL between 1942 and 1967. These Teams include the Chicago Blackhawks, The Toronto Maple Leafs, The Detroit Red Wings and the New York Rangers. Can you name either or both of the remaining two teams?
A: The remaining two of the six are the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins. The Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup more than any other Team in the League (24).
5. For the first time in 16 years, this American team (and my favorite team) did not qualify for the playoffs.
A: Sadly for me, the Pittsburgh Penguins did not qualify for the playoffs in the 2022/23 season.
6. Who coined the catchphrase, “It’s a Great Day for Hockey”?
A: Robert Norman "Badger Bob" Johnson (March 4, 1931 – November 26, 1991) was a professional hockey coach well known amongst players and fans, for his enthusiasm and unflappable optimism, immortalized through his famous catchphrase "It's a great day for hockey!"
Now that we're well into the second round of the playoffs, who are your picks to win? Drop us a reply below!