Ice Hockey: Red Wings take a bow for Bowman

Click to follow
THE DETROIT Red Wings swept to a second consecutive victory in the Stanley Cup on Tuesday, beating the hapless Washington Capitals 4-1 in the fourth game of the series.

Their victory was well earned, with two goals from Doug Brown and one each from Martin Lapointe and Larry Murphy. The Red Wings have built up an impressive tally over the past few years, with some enthusiasts speaking of them as the sport's new ruling dynasty.

They are the first team to win the Cup twice in succession since the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1991-92 season. They have qualified for the Cup final in three of the past four years, and have the most play-off victories in the 1990s. The key to their success is their coach, Scotty Bowman, who has equalled the record for most cups as a coach.

However, in many ways, the real surprise of the season was that the Capitals made it to the finals at all. They have a disappointing record, and had never made it to the top of the game before in their 24 years. Brian Bellows scored the Capitals' lone goal. "I've got a bit of an empty feeling right now," the goaltender Olaf Kolzig said. "In a few weeks it will pass and we'll realise what a great season we've had."

Last year's Red Wings' victory was marred by a car accident shortly afterwards in which the defenceman Vladimir Konstantinov suffered a brain injury, and he will never play again. The Red Wings marked their victory yesterday by bringing Konstantinov out on to the ice to carry the trophy.

The Stanley Cup is the world's largest sporting trophy, with each winning team's name engraved on a silver ring that is attached to the cup itself. Like the Epsom Derby, and the city of Stanley in the Falkland Islands, it is named after the Lancashire family who are also the hereditary Earls of Derby. Lord Stanley of Preston was the Governor- General of Canada when, in 1892, he was persuaded by his ice hockey-mad sons to provide a trophy, which was initially just for Canadian teams.