Here is a look at Saturday's Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Flyers and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Silver trumps gold
Five players in the Finals - the Flyers' Chris Pronger and Mike Richards, and the Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook - hope to hoist the silver Stanley Cup after winning gold medals for Team Canada in the Vancouver Olympics.
Only three players in history have won an Olympic gold medal and Stanley Cup rings in the same year: Ken Morrow (United States, Islanders in 1980), Steve Yzerman (Canada, Red Wings in 2002), and Brendan Shanahan (Canada, Red Wings in 2002).
Asked which honor was more satisfying, Pronger didn't hesitate.
"The Stanley Cup - because of the length of the season," said Pronger, who won the Cup with Anaheim in 2007. Including off-season training, it takes "almost a whole calendar year of work . . . to get it done."
What would it cost at Sears?
The Stanley Cup, the most storied trophy in sports, was donated in 1892 by Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley. He bought a decorative silver punch bowl for $48.67 to be given to the best hockey team in Canada.
In 1950, Detroit's Ted Lindsay started a tradition when he became the first captain to skate around the ice with the Cup.
All of the winning team's players and staff get to keep the Cup for 24 hours.
Hossa's, uh, feat
When Chicago's Marian Hossa takes his first shift Saturday, he will become the third player in all four major professional sports to appear in a final in three consecutive seasons with different teams, according to NHL.com.
Don Baylor reached the World Series with Boston in 1986, Minnesota in 1987, and Oakland in 1988. Eric Hinske was in World Series with Boston in 2007, Tampa Bay in 2008, and the Yankees in 2009.
Hinske was on two champions in that span, while Baylor was on one.
We interrupt Hossa's accomplishment to tell you this: He could become the first athlete to play on three different losing teams in three consecutive Finals. He was with Pittsburgh in 2008 and Detroit in 2009.
Former Flyer Patrick Sharp, a gifted winger with the Blackhawks, thinks he might receive a rude welcome when he returns to the Wachovia Center for Game 3 on Wednesday.
"I hope I get a few boos," he said, smiling. "That would be nice. It would mean a lot."
It would mean he has arrived as a star - and gets the same treatment that Quebec native Danny Briere gets when the Flyers play in Montreal.
The Blackhawks can't get their 3-2 regular-season loss to the Flyers out of their minds. The Flyers got goals from Scott Hartnell and Pronger in the last 2 minutes, 4 seconds. Pronger scored with 2.1 seconds remaining.
"Our most frustrating loss all year long," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said.
The Flyers hope to give the Hawks a defeat that is even more frustrating.
The Flyers' top two defensive pairings and their veterans give them the slimmest of edges.
Flyers in seven. In OT.
- Sam Carchidi