Stanley Cup Finals 2011: Can Vancouver Canucks Finally End Canada's Cup Drought?

VANCOUVER, BC - MAY 24: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and Captain Henrik Sedin #33 of the Vancouver Canucks pose with the Clarence Campbell Bowl after the Vancouver Canucks defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-2 in double-overtime in Game Five to win the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena on May 24, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Bieksa got the game-winning goal in the second overtime to win the series four games to two. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

When the Vancouver Canucks clinched their Stanley Cup Finals berth on Wednesday night, they gave hope to Canadians who haven't seen the Cup come home since 1993.

June 9, 1993.

On that date, the Montreal Canadiens clinched their 24th Stanley Cup. It was also the last time a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup, and for a country that prides itself on the game of hockey, the 18 year drought has been a long period of national frustration. 

There have been four different Canadian teams during that 18 year stretch that have made the Stanley Cup Finals. There was Ottawa in 2007, Edmonton in 2006, Calgary in 2003 and Vancouver in 1994. The Canucks will have their second shot to break the drought as they clinched their berth to the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals on Wednesday night. 

The Canucks have been the odds on favorite to win the Cup since the postseason began. In recent years, winning the President's Trophy hasn't always meant success in the playoffs, but the Canucks even have a little Olympic history on their side.

There have been two other Canadian cities to ever host Olympics -- Calgary with the Winter Games in 1988 and Montreal with the Summer Games in 1976. The subsequent season after the games, the host cities' NHL team has won the Stanley Cup.

Vancouver hosted the Winter Games in 2010. 

Besides that, though, the Canucks have the regular season point leader in Daniel Sedin with 104 points, while his twin brother Henrik is leading the league in playoff scoring with 21 points. After struggling early in this postseason, the Sedin's have turned up the heat, and along with help from Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows and... Kevin Bieksa? ... the Canucks can attack from all sides. 

Oh, and they have a gold medal winning goaltender in Roberto Luongo and a defense that has allowed an adequate 2.56 goals per game in these playoffs. They are, by all accounts, Canada's best shot at winning a Cup since 1993. 

The Stanley Cup Finals kick off next week in Vancouver, against either the Boston Bruins or Tampa Bay Lightning. For coverage on the Finals, stick with our Stanley Cup Finals hub and our Canucks blog, Nucks Misconduct. For coverage on Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, check out Bruins vs. Lightning hub

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