Monday, June 09, 2008
Former Badgers Chelios and Rafalski win the Stanley Cup
On Wednesday, two former Badgers were part of the latest class to be immortalized by having their names engraved on (frankly) the coolest trophy in all of sports: the Stanley Cup. With the Detroit Red Wings' thrilling Game 6 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, Brian Rafalski and Chris Chelios both became three-time Stanley Cup Champions.
Rafalski had a stellar postseason, putting up 14 points, which included two huge goals in the Stanley Cup Finals: the first was the would-be game (and series!) winner in Game 5. Rafalski put it in with 10:37 to go in the game, but as the Detroit fans readied themselves for a celebration, Chris Osgood allowed Maxime Talbot to sneak one by him with just 35 seconds to go in regulation. Pittsburgh wound up winning the game hours later in the third overtime, forcing Game 6. Rafalski opened the scoring in Game 6 with a power play goal just five minutes after the game began, and a couple hours later the Wings hoisted Lord Stanley's Cup for the eleventh time in franchise history.
Chelios played the best hockey of any 46-year-old in the playoffs, but ultimately coach Mike Babcock elected to bench him as a healthy scratch starting with the last game of the Western Conference Finals. Nonetheless, Chelios's contributions in the postseason did not go unnoticed, and his name will be engraved again on the Cup. He also made another contribution to the Cup when it suffered a minor dent at his restaurant. Apparently that's been repaired and does not require the healing expertise of Dr. Cox.
Congrats to these two Badgers on leading their team to the promised land.