I'm not going to be doing too much coverage of the Stanley Cup Finals here on Puck Worlds... SB Nation has plenty of coverage going on for this marquee event. But, in the spirit of this being an international hockey blog, let's look at how the teams break down by nationality:
|Chicago Blackhawks||Nat.||Minutes||Points||Philadelphia Flyers||Nat.||Minutes||Points|
|Jonathan Toews||333||26||Mike Richards||370||21|
|David Bolland||296||10||Claude Giroux||324||17|
|Patrick Sharp||286||16||Simon Gagne||232||10|
|Kris Versteeg||267||9||Darroll Powe||224||0|
|Dustin Byfuglien||250||10||Blair Betts||207||1|
|Andrew Ladd||209||3||James van Riemsdyk||205||4|
|John Madden||189||1||Ville Leino||
|Troy Brouwer||147||3||Arron Asham||195||5|
|Tomas Kopecky||146||4||Daniel Carcillo||160||6|
|Ben Eager||79||1||Jeff Carter||104||5|
|Adam Burish||68||0||Andreas Nodl||
|Bryan Bickell||53||1||Ian Laperriere||79||1|
|Colin Fraser||25||0||Jared Ross||17||0|
Don Cherry loves that list. That's the forwards in this series, and they're overwhelmingly Canadian, and even more overwhelmingly North American. 22 of the 31 forwards used by the two finalists so far in these playoffs are Canadian (David Laliberte also played a single game for Philadelphia), including 10 of the two team's top six forwards. Chicago uses Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa quite a bit (American and Slovak respectively), but Philadelphia is all-Canadian in their attack. Perhaps it's a bit unfair for Ville Leino, who has produced quite exceptionally in these playoffs from the Flyers' third line. The Blackhawks' American contingent plays a significant role with Kane and Dustin Byfuglien providing a lot of offence, but Chicago only looks diverse in comparison to the Flyers.
The defense for the Flyers is more diverse, but Chicago is heavy on the Canadians. While Niklas Hjalmarsson has had a very strong and underrated playoff, it's still Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook's team, with solid support from Brent Sopel and Brian Campbell. Philadelphia rides their top 4 defensemen hard, with Chris Pronger getting the most icetime. American Matt Carle helps out offensively, while Finnish star Kimmo Timmonen helps at both ends of the rink. The lone Czech player in the series is Lukas Krajicek, who sees some power play time but has had little production. Latvia's Oskars Bartulis is Philly's 7th d-man.
|Chicago Blackhawks||Nat.||Minutes||SV%||Philadelphia Flyers||Nat.||Minutes||SV%|
Five different goalies, five different nationalities. Here's the only position where diversity is the name of the game. Michael Leighton, since returning from an injury (and replacing an injured Boucher), has been incredible to date, and will be tested greatly by the Blackhawks' powerful offense. Antti Niemi started the playoffs off allowing a terrible goal but has been solid and at times spectacular as the Hawks look to end their NHL leading 49 year Stanley Cup drought.
So, to recap, the Flyers have used 26 different players so far in the Stanley Cup playoffs, with 16 of them being Canadian, four Americans, two Finns, and a Czech, Latvian, Austrian, and Swede each. The Blackhawks have used only 23 different players (staying healthy in the postseason is one of the least discussed, but most important aspects of a champion), with 15 Canadians, three Americans, two Slovaks, and a Swede, a Finn, and a Frenchman each. Canadians make up 63% of the roster spots, and have scored 205 points for the Finalists.
And one last thing Don Cherry will truly appreciate: Zero Russians.