It is 122 years old. It stands just under three feet tall and weighs just over 34 pounds. Its carried around in a case and handled by a guy who wears white gloves. Each year grown men pour their heart and soul out in hopes of hoisting it. It is Lord Stanley’s Cup.
For two months each spring 16 teams vie for the dream they had since they first tied a pair of skates. One team must win 16 games over the course of four best of 7 series. Those 16 victories are many times gruesome and leave players broken and bloodied.
The subsequent days after a team has been eliminated or when a team has finally won the cup show just how much the pursuit means to these guys. Those subsequent days are when news comes out of the injuries some of the players pushed on through.
In a town where a bloody sock has become part of the lore, a more noble effort was made in pursuit of bringing the Cup to Boston. Among the injuries and brusies Patrice Bergeron had suffered in the first three rounds, Bergeron suffered injuries that would put most of us laid up for days. He suffered torn cartilage in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals. In Game 5, he broke a rib on the other side of his body. Gritting through the pain for game 6 he racked up a seperated shoulder and a punctured left lung. Bergeron only went to the hospital after the lung had collapsed FOLLOWING the game.
There are stories of courage (maybe stupidity) year after year of guys making the ultimate sacrafice for the dream of the lap around the ice with the Cup. The sacrafice does not always mean victory as Bergeron found out when the Bruins lost to the Blackhawks. He was left to heal and begin the quest again in 2014.
One may ask why a player puts themselves through this year after year. And I have only heard one reason time after time…. Beacuse Its The Cup.