SPORTS

Hockey VS Hoops- Winter's Top sports really start to sizzle in Late April when the playoffs get started, but which ticket is hotter?

4/25/2006

TIRED CLICHÉ



TIRED CLICHÉ

NHL: The playoffs are all about goaltending.

NBA: The playoffs are all about defense.

TRITE YET TRUE

NHL: “Gift goals” destroy morale; stay out of the penalty box.

NBA: Check egos, and feed the ball to whoever is hot.

RATINGS POWER

NHL: The 2004 Stanley Cup finals between Tampa Bay and Calgary on ABC had the lowest ratings since networks began carrying the series in 1998. But in Canada, CBC’s broadcast of Game 7 drew an average of 4.9 million viewers, second only to Game 7 of the 1994 Vancouver vs. New York final.

NBA: More than 19 million viewers tuned in to catch the San Antonio Spurs’ 81-74 Game 7 victory over the Detroit Pistons last year. The 2004 Pistons-Lakers final averaged 17.9 million viewers, while the 2003 Spurs-Nets final drew 9.9 million.

CINDERELLA SYNDROME

NHL: Unfortunately, in hockey the story usually ends when the clock strikes 12. There was no fairy-tale finish for the Calgary Flames (2004), the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (2003) or the Buffalo Sabres (1999), even though they did get to go to the big ball.

NBA: In 2004, the slipper sure fit the star-deficient Detroit Pistons, who crushed a Lakers team stacked with four future Hall of Famers in Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Gary Payton and Karl Malone.


CANCON

NHL: The 1993 Montreal Canadiens were the last Canadian team to win a Stanley Cup.
NBA: Toronto-born swingman Rick Fox won three NBA championships in a row with the Lakers (2000-2002).


ULTIMATE SECOND-SEASON HERO

NHL: Patrick Roy won the Conn Smythe award, which is given to the NHL’s playoff MVP, on three occasions (1986, 1993 and 2001). Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr and Bernie Parent all won the trophy twice.

NBA: Michael Jordan was named NBA finals MVP six times (1991-1993, 1996-1998). Shaquille O’Neal and Magic Johnson have each won the playoff MVP trophy three times.


WHAT THEY’RE PLAYING FOR

NHL: Crafted by silversmiths in Sheffield, England, the Stanley Cup was purchased by Canada’s Governor General, Lord Frederick Arthur Stanley, for 10 guineas ($48) in 1892.

NBA: The Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy is sixteen pounds of sterling silver with a 24-karat gold overlay. It was designed and manufactured by Tiffany & Co. Larry O’Brien was NBA commissioner from 1975-1984.

DUE OR DONE?

NHL: The Chicago Blackhawks last won the Stanley Cup in 1961, and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight to their woes. The longest Cup drought was 54 years, held by the New York Rangers between 1940 and 1994.

NBA: The Sacramento Kings last won the NBA crown in 1951 -- back then the franchise was in Rochester and they were called the Royals. Swapping Peja Stojakovic for league scourge Ron Artest should extend their losing streak.

WINNINGEST TEAM
NHL: The Montreal Canadiens rule the competition with 24 Stanley Cup titles. The next winningest team after them, the Toronto Maple Leafs, have just 13.
NBA: Boston Celtics. Talk about Celtic pride -- their 16 NBA championships top the Association. Trailing by just two titles are the Los Angeles Lakers.

WHO IS GOING TO WIN IT ALL

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes. They’re riding a hot goalie in Martin Gerber, and breakout star Eric Staal is showing no signs of stalling.
NBA: San Antonio Spurs. When we look back at the NBA five years from now we’ll likely remember the 2000s as the decade of the international baller and the team that represents them best, the San Antonio Spurs. Memories of Phil Jackson’s Lakers century-starting threepeat are already starting to fade—Tony Parker and the Spurs have the opportunity to make the 00s their decade alone.


This article first ran in the May 2006 issue of Bell T.V. Magazine


Copyright © Mike Dojc, 2006

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