2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs Get Icy


USA Today

The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 2017.

Adriana Meijaard, Staff Writer

The 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs have begun, making it the perfect time to observe the fast-paced sport of ice hockey. The first ice hockey games date back to 1875 in Montreal and, just 17 years later, the Montreal team would be awarded the Stanley Cup. In the world of hockey and the National Hockey League (NHL), winning the Stanley Cup is considered the ultimate goal and prize of any team’s hard-working season.

Although hockey may not be the most talked about sport in Miami due to its tropical climate, it is still a sport to be recognized. Hockey players use a lot of energy and stamina when skating across the ice and handling the puck, putting their endurance and athletic capabilities to the test. The vigor involved in the sport is a direct factor as to why hockey is divided into three 20-minute periods.

The fast-paced and unstoppable action within a hockey game is what makes it such an appealing sport to its fan base. It is undeniable that hockey is a sport in which there is a lot of tension and competitive nature. As a player hits the hockey puck across the ice, the speed can reach up to 100 mph. The goaltenders can’t even blink as the puck gets launched at them or they risk the opponent scoring.

“Hockey definitely is a unique sport and really fun to watch. I can’t wait to see who wins the Stanley Cup this year,” sophomore Oraida Rodriguez said.

The NHL is made up of 31 teams from both Canada and the United States. The teams located on the east coast are under the Eastern Conference and are separated between the Metropolitan and Atlantic Divisions. Similarly, teams from the west coast are identified under the Western Conference in either the Pacific or Central Division. 16 teams qualify for the Stanley Cup depending on how they performed during the regular season against the teams in their division. The top three in each division make up the first 12 teams in the playoff and two other teams are picked as a wild card from each conference.

“Two years ago, when the Florida Panthers made it to the Stanley Cup playoffs, I was able to go to the game and watch one of the most exciting games ever. Hockey is a really cool sport to watch and to watch it in real life is even better,” junior Kevin Gonzalez said.

Las Vegas Review-Journal
Knights defeat the Kings 4-0 in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have won the Stanley Cup for the past two years and continue to be impenetrable while playing. So far, the Penguins lead the best-of-seven series 3-1 against the Philadelphia Flyers. However, the Vegas Golden Knights, who just started playing this season as an official NHL team, have done surprisingly well. They conquered the Los Angeles Kings 4-0 and are now en route to play against the San Jose Sharks, who won 4-0 against the Anaheim Ducks. To see more of the matchups and keep track of the Stanley Cup playoffs, click here.

Hockey may not be one of the most talked about sports, but it is an impressive one. Be sure to tune into the Stanley Cup playoffs as the contending hockey teams vie for a championship; it can’t be missed!