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There are two places in this world. One where there is snow and the other where there is none. Canada and America fall into the former category. And this distinction has created the Canadians to enjoy sports in different dimensions. National Hockey League is played in a hockey rink filled with ice. The winner of the league is awarded the Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in the whole North America.
A total of 32 teams competes in the league as of now. Though there was only a single American team in the Original Six back in 1950's, currently, 25 of the competing teams are American. The Original Six was made of Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Rules of NHL are peculiar like most of the American sports. The time window for a game is 60 minutes, played in three 20-minute periods. No game is tied, overtime, sudden-death and penalty shootouts are used to decide the outcome. Playoffs don't feature shootouts, sudden-death and overtime are utilized. Like football, offside is followed in the attacking zone. Time penalties are followed in combination with handicapped play where the side undergoing through the punishment will play with a player less. Icing is another rule which saves a play from going dry. According to the rule, a player driving the puck behind the opposition goal line is banned. There are a few more rules which make the NHL interesting to watch.
Tampa Bay Lighting became the champions for the second time in a row last season. Montreal Canadiens found their way into the finals for the first time since 1993. However, it ended in vain. Winning the Cup 24 times, Canadiens are the most successful club in the league history. Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs are second and third in the list. Nonetheless, Jon Cooper's Tampa Bay Lighting are still strong enough to make a good title defence.