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The Boston Bruins celebrate after defeating the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7. (ANDY CLARK/Andy Clark/Reuters)
The Boston Bruins celebrate after defeating the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7. (ANDY CLARK/Andy Clark/Reuters)

Globe Editorial

Canada's deprived childhood on the ice Add to ...

As we say in Canada, wait till next year.

The drought is unbearable and unnatural. There are Canadians nearing the age of majority who have never seen a Canadian team win the Cup. The last was the Montreal Canadiens in 1993. It is, in Canadian terms, a deprived childhood.

Was Vancouver beaten last night because injured Bruin Nathan Horton of Welland, Ont., poured water from the TD Garden in Boston (named for a Canadian bank) on to Vancouver ice before the game, in effect making it a Boston home game? Did Vancouver lose for a more prosaic reason, because the diminutive Brad Marchand of Halifax insisted on almost single-handedly exploding his native country's hopes and dreams? Or has Canada simply forgotten how to win the Stanley Cup?

It is a healthy, if strange, nationalism expressed in cheering for a team that contains more foreign nationals than its opponent.

The Canadianness of the Bruins is remarkable (though that is of little solace). Seven provinces are represented. On the full roster, an incredible 13 of 14 forwards are native sons; the 14th, David Krejci of the Czech Republic, has been the best of the bunch in the playoffs. The team's two other key players also come from away: 6'9'' defenceman Zdeno Chara is from Slovakia, and goalie Tim Thomas, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy for being the playoffs' most valuable player, is from Michigan.

Today's NHL is one of the world's truly international endeavours. On Vancouver, the three most skilled forwards are imports: the wonderful Sedin twins, Henrik and Daniel, are from Sweden, and the relentless Ryan Kesler is from Michigan. Three other key players are Canadian: forward Alexandre Burrows (from Quebec), defenceman Kevin Bieksa (Ontario) and goalie Robert Luongo (Quebec). There are seven countries and five provinces represented on the full roster.

But for all its internationalism, hockey remains Canada's game. Wasn't it Canada that put the National into the National Hockey League? There were no teams in the United States when the NHL got its start in 1917. A Governor General, Lord Stanley of Preston, donated the trophy in 1892.

It is true what people say. The old verities are gone. And so is the Stanley Cup.

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