The Stanley Cup Playoffs: The Quest for Hockey’s Biggest Prize

Lerner/­Millbrook. (Spectacular Sports). Apr. 2020. 64p. Tr $34.65. ISBN 9781541578388.
Gr 6 Up–Doeden presents a thorough and interesting history of the NHL playoffs. In what could be one of the sport’s most exciting eras to date, the National Hockey League is experiencing a resurgence. New fans may be interested in learning more about the games that set the standard, but may already know a decent amount of the lingo. The extensive history of the Stanley Cup is organized into easily digestible chapters that are entertaining and informative: a history of the cup, greatest games of the playoffs, memorable moments (the pervasive fog during the 1975 finals is particularly noteworthy), and the future of the playoffs with consideration to safety and global expansion. Each chapter covers specific games, listed chronologically, aided by great photos. The author spends quite a bit of time discussing the dangers of playing hockey including CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and fighting. While fighting has been a prominent fixture of the game from its inception, it has declined in recent years owing to safety and health concerns. The back matter features a list of all Stanley Cup Champions, source notes, a glossary, further reading, and an index. Doeden won’t get called out for icing in this one.
VERDICT A solid addition to hockey collections that are in need of more history and less team-centric works.

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