Sunday, June 8, 2008

Stanley Cup winners

Congrats to two former Badgers who won the Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings last week: Brian Rafalski (right) and Chris Chelios. Chelly, who's about 80 now, didn't play much, if at all, in the finals, but Raffy played a big role.

Rafalski had goals in the last two games, and would have had the series clincher in Game 5 if not for an exciting late goal by the Penguins. For the playoffs, he had four goals and 14 points and was a plus-6. He's one of the best defensemen in the NHL.

And yet, if you passed him at the mall, you probably wouldn't guess that he's a world class athlete. Listed at 5-10, I'd bet he's two inches shorter. A few summers ago, when the NHL skipped a season because of a strike or a lockout (can't remember which; did you notice?), Rafalski played in the same softball league as me in Waupaca. Apparently he married a girl from Waupaca and owns a home on our beautiful Chain O' Lakes.

Didn't realize it was him until, batting left-handed, he hit a single to left-center (me) and stretched it into a ... triple. Man is he fast!

Congrats to these two guys for getting two more names of former Badgers on the Stanley Cup.

10 comments:

Millie said...

Brian Rafalski is one of the most fluid and best skaters that I've ever been on the ice with. Add his incredible hands and it is no surprise that he's been able to be a successful defenseman in the NHL at his size.

Scott Tappa said...

Admit it Millie: you've been waiting almost a year for me to write about Rafalski so you could use that in a comment. :)

Corby said...

Tappa-

I am concerned about your skills...where have they gone? A single into a triple, in left-center? I could see right center or RF, but left center? I am sure the guy is fast, but Jesus H., that is incredible.

As long as we are dropping names, did I ever mention the time Barry Alvarez came into the gas station in Madison when I was working? "That was pretty cool" (imagine Chris Farley).

Millie said...

Not really. But if you ever write something about Joe Bianchi, let me know...

Scott Tappa said...

It wasn't right at me Corby, but a. I was going to my left and b. I figured he was just going to second, threw there, but he was already digging for third.

And Millie, Joe B is pretty much my only name dropping candidate, don't take that away from me!

Millie said...

That sounds good Tappa. He's all yours.

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