Let's be clear here.
The Carolina Hurricanes have the chance to lock down the first Stanley Cup in franchise history Saturday night at Rexall Place in Edmonton.
Forget that it's only Game 3. There's only a faint chance the Oilers are coming back in the series at all after losing the first two games in Raleigh, and there will be no chance at all if they lose the third game on home ice.
No way is Jussi Markkanen or Ty Conklin the guy who's going to bring his team back from 0-3.
So the heat, you have to figure, is really on the Canes for Game 3. History is staring them in the face. Hard.
If they can do it, its sure going to make all the crap spewed by Pat Quinn and others with the Maple Leafs in recent years look like, well, crap. These guys tried to convince hockey fans that winning championships was a crapshoot, that in a 30-team league it was as much about luck than an excellence and what really mattered was accumulating the greatest amount of playoff games over the course of three or four seasons.
To some degree, this brainwashing technique worked. I get e-mails all the time praising the work of the Quinn coaching team on the basis of how many playoff games the Leafs participated in during his tenure.
That's how these people tried to get Toronto to measure hockey success. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, have been in two of the past four Stanley Cup finals held, and are on the verge of winning it all.
To them, apparently, winning isn't just a crapshoot.
If they can pull this off, in fact, it will be an interesting new twist on hockey history.
There have been, you see, two truly pivotal chunks of expansion in the NHL's modern history.
The first came in the 1967-68 season when the league doubled in size from six to 12 teams, adding Los Angeles, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and California/Oakland.
The second came in 1979 when the war with the World Hockey Association ended and Edmonton, Quebec City, Winnipeg and Hartford merged with the existing NHL clubs.
Here's what's interesting.
Of the six that joined in '67-68, only the Kings and Blues have yet to be crowned NHL champions. Philly won twice, and so did Pittsburgh.
Then there's the case of Minny and Oakland.
The North Stars, meanwhile, brought into bits, part of the club going to San Jose with the Gund brothers, part of it going to Dallas to become the Stars.
And the Stars eventually won the Stanley Cup.
So, feeling generous, both the orginal North Stars and Seals get some credit for that.
Which leaves the Kings and Blues as the only non-winners from that expansion.
What about the '79 merger that expanded the league to 21 teams from 17?
Well, Edmonton won five Cups, so they're in the clear.
The Nordiques won as the Colorado Avalanche, and now the orginal Whalers could win it all as the Hurricanes.
Which would leave only the Jets or, as they are now known, the Phoenix Coyotes.
Just what Wayne Gretzky needs. More pressure.