I like the story about the family of Jean-Sebastien (J.S.) Giguere (#35) the goalie of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. When Jiggy was growing up in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, his father worked as prison warden and his mother worked as a school shuttle (bus) driver. When the cost of hockey equipment grew too expensive, Dad asked JS, the youngest child in the family, whether JS wanted to continue to play hockey. When JS said yes, his parents took out a mortgage from their home to pay for the expenses. Whether it was 100% pure parental love or faith in their 12 years old child that one day he will become one of the skilled goalies in National Hockey League, it really touched my heart to read this story. (Considering I am a fanatic Detroit Red Wings fan). Latest news (May 22nd when I finally posted this entry) - the Ducks eliminated my beloved Red Wings in game 6, playing a dominating game and an impressive lead half way thru the 3rd period. The Red Wings came back and scored two power-play goals within one minute, but it was too little too late. The Ducks won 4-3 and on their way to face Ottawa Senators in the Stanley Cup finals. Game 1 starts on Monday, May 28th.
Next story is about a player who was "diamond in the rough", Pavel Datsyuk (#13) Detroit Red Wings center. Datsyuk has been one of my favorite hockey players. The 28-year old native of Sverdlovsk, Russia, was overlooked for many years by scouts who thought he was too small and would not be fast enough to be in the NHL. At 5'11", 185 lbs, Datsyuk would be small compared to most of the other players over 6'1" and more than 200 lbs. That is the whole point - Datsyuk is not an enforcer, he is a hockey player with magical hands. He moves the puck as if it was on a string, invisible string from his stick, release at the right moment to a teammate or shoot the puck on the moves that others could only dream of. Datsyuk shoots when you thought he could not and when the goalie thought he would pass the puck. I enjoy watching Datsyuk because of his natural skills, balance on his skates, the speed and strength from his legs and the "silky-smooth" passes that kept opponents guessing.
I also thought we are all "Datsyuk" until someone recognizes our talents and provides the opportunity to shine. Many times in life I was not given a chance because I speak with a foreign accent, because of my gender or because I was not assertive and battle my way through to get to the front. A classic example would be when I discussed taking on the responsibility as public relations person for AFCO, RJS (my former employer, a great coach and a special person) did not hesitate because English was not my first language and that I did not have any background in the area of print media. RJS believed in me and my potentials. (Please read entry on February 19, 2007 entitled Happy Birthday, RJS.) We all need someone to believe in us and to recognize "diamond in the rough" in each of us.
Unable to have children, I find this story personally interesting. A woman who was told by her doctor that she would not be able to have children after trying more than a decade unsuccessfully. Then one day when she and her husband happened to be at an event to celebrate the Colorado Avalanche Stanley Cup championship in 1996, the woman placed a kiss on the Stanley Cup. Later, the couple shocked the physician and their family when they gave birth to a baby boy and named him, Stanley. There you have it, the Stanley Cup is truly a magical trophy, not just for hockey fans, but for anyone who believes in traditions. The Stanley Cup is more than just a championship award, it is a great symbol of 114 years of sportmanship, inspiration, motivation and celebration of individual achievement and team efforts.
Another disappointing season came to an end for all the Detroit Red Wings fans. I thought at least the Red Wings was not (so embarassed) eliminated in the first round like the last couple of years. But then I got so mad thinking how could they played so well in game 3 (the score was 5-0 - shutout the Ducks), took control and scored early, all the four lines were solid with speed, puck possession, passing with laser accuracy, no rebounds, keeping the pucks out of the zone and did not take too many penalties. It was as if they ran out of steam or the balloon leaking air, the Red Wings forgot how to play hockey and lost the last three games.
You probablly want to know which team, Ottawa Senators v. Anaheim Ducks, I would cheer for. I think it is time the Stanley Cup is returned back to Canada. Go Senators Go!