The Penguins and Predators are in the midst of this year’s Stanley Cup Final, which is the first in history to feature two American-born head coaches. Both Pittsburgh’s Mike Sullivan and Nashville’s Peter Laviolette have been around the NHL for a long while now, and both of them already have a Stanley Cup to their name.
There’s something else the two men have in common: dog names. Both Sullivan and Laviolette have pups named Stanley — “for obvious reasons,” as Sullivan puts it — living in their houses with them. They revealed as much during a behind-the-scenes Showtime look at this year’s Final, apparently by total coincidence:
We don’t get excellent looks at either Sullivan’s or Laviolette’s Stanley in the brief video clip the league released on Friday. But from what we can tell on camera, it appears that both head coaches’ dogs are, indeed, very good dogs.
Here is Sullivan’s Stanley:
And Laviolette’s Stanley:
“He’s a Stanley Cup dog,” Laviolette says. And there’s a cool backstory here.
When he was coaching Carolina in the playoffs in 2006, Laviolette’s children found a “little puppy” on the street, whose brothers and sisters had been killed. Laviolette’s wife asked if he wanted to keep the dog, the coach said. The family did, and when Stanley was still small, he got to sit inside the Stanley Cup, his namesake trophy.
The series continues Tuesday night in Nashville (8 ET, NBC Sports).
The Penguins have a 2-0 lead, but the Preds have a chance to make things interesting with back-to-back home games. Either way, a dog named Stanley will probably drink from the Cup this year.