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A Cup full of dreams

Wednesday, 06.15.2011 / 3:09 PM

By Marty Turco - NHL Network / Turco Talk

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Turco Talk
A Cup full of dreams
Veteran NHL goalie Marty Turco is lending his expert opinion to NHL.com in the form of his own blog. Turco Talk will be updated daily with Marty's thoughts on the Stanley Cup Final between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins. Marty can also be seen daily on the NHL Network giving analysis on NHL On the Fly at the Stanley Cup Final.

On the day of Game 7, Marty writes about the Stanley Cup:

VANCOUVER -- The Stanley Cup.

It's the ultimate prize. It's the one thing in hockey that has the most mystique, that has a tradition unparraleled.

We talk about it in references and adjectives that correlate to wars and battles. Guys that have won it have had broken legs and scored game-winners. Guys have waited 20 years to win it and some guys had to change teams after being lifers in one city just so they could go win it. Some guys have won it when they're 21 and never won it again.

Those are the guys that are lucky enough to carry it around and get all these great stories. There will be more of them tonight.

The lure of the Stanley Cup and its symbolism transcends a sport and a culture that in my opinion is like no other in the arena of sports.

Hockey is not played by the most people in the world and it's certainly not the biggest sport even in North America, but growing up a small-town Canadian kid playing with an orange ball in my parents' driveway, I didn't need anybody else to be playing with me to win Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

You never had to be on a team. You didn't need a goalie. You didn't even need to have a net to ask yourself what one moment in your lifetime would you want to be a part of, to feel what it is like and think that nothing could be greater.

It always came down to scoring a goal in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, and winning the Stanley Cup.

Last year Patrick Kane did it. He didn't do it in Game 7, but it was still the perfect fairy-tale hockey ending.

Tonight, this is our 16th chance to witness a Game 7 for the Stanley Cup, and you just hope it goes to overtime and then let history write itself.

I've played on ponds and lakes. My dad built me wonderful backyard rinks in crazy cold weather after coming home from night shifts. You never appreciate things when you're a child, but learning to skate when I was two, to play when I was four, and having all these outdoor arenas at my disposal -- I was a pretty lucky kid.

I always loved the game. I loved the imagination it gave me. I loved watching Hockey Night in Canada every Saturday night with my family. Those memories are something that I'll always have. Those memories have helped develop in part of who I am today, the things you strive for and what you're willing to do in order to accomplish a task. It doesn't mean it's just hockey because I play hockey, but it's also about being a father, a son, a husband, a member of a community and society.

I always thought how lucky I would have to be to have an opportunity to compete for a Stanley Cup, but now as a professional in the NHL I get the chance to try to play to win a Stanley Cup. And, now in this new gig as an analyst for NHL Network, getting up close and personal to a series as great as this one has been, it brings back a lot of memories.

It's inspiring being deep in it, being part jealous at times, part surprised and just downright mad at watching these guys as I totally get myself into it. It's been a long time since I've been this into something that I haven't been a part of or my kids haven't been a part of, but to be in Vancouver, to be in this arena and have a chance to talk about it brings back a lot of great memories of my childhood and my experiences with family and friends. It reminds me of everything I've done in my hockey career.

Now I get to think about which team is going to win, which city is going to go nuts, which goaltender is going to be the next Stanley Cup champion and who we'll all be aiming at next year. Just thinking about all this gives me chills down my spine because it all stems from Lord Stanley's Cup, the opportunity to potentially play for it one day and maybe say I raised it.
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This is a big year for us in a lot of ways. You can see Garth and management really trying to find that solution to get us into the playoffs and consistently have that. The pressure is great. You have to enjoy it. It just means there's a great opportunity ahead of you.

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