Don’t Miss This Game Tonight

Hockey’s Stanley Cup Finals goes to a Game 7 tonight.

I know, I know, you never watch hockey. You don’t follow it. Don’t care.

Reconsider tonight.

The series is between the perennially-good Florida Panthers and the upstart Edmonton (Alberta) Oilers. Florida quickly went up 3 games to zip. It seemed over. Parade plans were published.

Now it’s tied at three wins apiece. Only once has a Stanley Cup winner come back from 0-3: the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs, over Detroit. Of course, they didn’t wear helmets or mouthguards in those days, so anything could happen and half the players wouldn’t remember it the next morning.

Also, despite their deep national love for the game, no Canadian team has won the Cup since 1993. This is personal for Canada, forcing even rival cities’ fans, from Calgary and Vancouver to Ottawa and Montreal, to choose sides. Imagine if the Toronto Blue Jays kept beating American teams in the World Series, as actually happened in 1992 and ’93?

Connor McDavid, captain of the Oilers, is an exciting player, fast becoming the “face” of the NHL. Trust me, you will not be bored watching him.

Plus you have Florida on its home ice, with its proud back against the wall, versus Edmonton’s YOLO, everyone-is-doubting-us vibe.

Will the Panthers become a sad trivia answer? Will Edmonton suddenly return to its ’80s greatness?

Enjoy this—it’s why we watch sports, even if this is not the sport you watch.

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