No Canadian Teams in Stanley Cup Playoffs, So Canucks Cheer for Crosby's Team

Martin AverySenior Writer IMay 15, 2009

WASHINGTON - MAY 13: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins waits for the faceoff against the Washington Capitals during Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinal  Round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on May 13, 2009 in Washington, DC. The Penguins defeated the Capitals 6-2 to move into the semifinals. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Hockey-mad Canadians are obsessing over the possibility of Jim Balsillie bringing a seventh NHL franchise to Canada and  are claiming to be the homeland of hockey at a time when no Canadian teams are in the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Pittsburgh Penguins play the Carolina Hurricanes for the Eastern Conference championship, and the Detroit Red Wings face the Chicago Blackhawks in the West.

The Blackhawks eliminated the Vancouver Canucks in the second round of the playoffs. 
The Calgary Flames were eliminated by Chicago in the first round.

The Montreal Canadiens were swept in four games by the rival Boston Bruins, bringing a miserable end to their disappointing centennial season.

Montreal was the last Canadian team to hoist the Stanley Cup, back in 1993. Since then, the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators have all advanced to the Cup final, but have been unable to break 15 seasons of American dominance.

This year, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Toronto all failed to make the playoffs. So did the Phoenix Coyotes, who could become the Hamilton Tigers.

The Chicago Blackhawks have 21 Canadian players; the Detroit Red Wings, 9; the Carolina Hurricanes, 12; and the Pittsburgh Penguins, 13.

Even though they have the most Canadian-born players, after beating out Calgary and Vancouver, the Blackhawks are not likely to be considered Canada's team. That distinction will likely go to Pittsburgh.

The Penguins have the best Canadian player in the NHL this year, one of the best in many years, and one of the best players from anywhere on the planet, Sidney Crosby.