www.whyville.net Dec 5, 2007 Weekly Issue

Whyville Columnist

Hockey: Canada's Game

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Let me guess, you're the type of person who gets home from school every Wednesday rushing to the computer to see if that week's Whyville Times has been published. I bet you enjoy all the funny articles in the Entertainment section, or reading all the beautiful poetry your fellow Whyvillains have written. To continue this feeling, I have decided to create my own column. This column is about hockey, hockey and more hockey. This week's article is about the rules and awards of Canada's national sport.

The National Hockey League (NHL for short) was created in 1926. Many people say that Lord Stanley founded the league because he donated the trophy teams battle each other to win. This trophy is named the Stanley Cup. This trophy is awarded to the victor of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The playoffs consist of four rounds in each conference. All playoff series are determined by the best four of seven games. The first four teams in each conference are awarded home ice adavntage, meaning they start their series with two games at home, then two on the road and then switching each game for the remainder of the series.

The first round is called the conference quarter finals. In this round, teams seeded one and eight, two and seven, three and six, and four and five face off against each other. In the second round, the semifinals, the winners of the first round compete aginst each other. Like in the quarter finals the highest seed plays the lowest seed and the second highest plays the second lowest, etc. This is the case for all rounds.

In the third round or conference final the two reamining teams in each conference play one another. The winner of the Eastern conference finals receives the Prince of Wales trophy and the winner of the Western conference finals receives the Clarence S Campbell Bowl. The two lucky teams to remain in the playoffs play each other for Lord Stanley's Cup. The 2007 Stanley Cup champions were the Anaheim Ducks.

Still with me? You are? Good, then let's get started on how to reach the playoffs. In each conference there are 15 teams. Only the top eight make the playoffs. These teams are the teams that have accumulated the most points in the regular season. Teams are awarded two points for a win, zero for a loss and one for an overtime or shootout loss. Most years, teams must reach the 95 point mark to have a chance of reaching the playoffs.

In a season, each team plays 82 games (41 at home, 41 on the road). These games are divided up into the following: eight against each divisional opponent, four against conference rivals and 10 total games against teams in the opposite conference. The team that amasses the most points in a season is awarded the Presidents Trophy. This team usually must have 105+ points.

Hope this article has informed you about my favourite winter sport. I hope the next time you turn on the TV, you see if your favorite team is playing. Tune in next week for the history of the NHL.

This was Baxierox, signing off.


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