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US President Joe Biden and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau showed they’re really just like regular folk by placing a friendly wager on the Stanley Cup Final, but the bet backfired with some ribbing from social media users.
The NHL showpiece got underway on Monday night as the Tampa Bay Lightning took on the Montreal Canadiens in the first game of their best-of-seven series, with national rivalries also at stake given the two teams hail from opposite sides of the border.
Ever keen to show he’s a real man of the people, Trudeau reached out to Biden on Twitter to offer a friendly bet on the outcome.
“Two of the best teams in the NHL are facing off right now… how about a friendly wager,” wrote the 49-year-old PM, adding a “GoHabsGo” hashtag to make his allegiances clear.
Two of the best teams in the NHL are facing off right now… how about a friendly wager, @POTUS? #GoHabsGo 🇨🇦🇺🇸 #StanleyCup
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 29, 2021
Biden took up the gauntlet, responding “you’re on pal” while throwing his support behind defending champions Tampa Bay.
You’re on pal. #GoBolts https://t.co/jOhA7IB2bE
— President Biden (@POTUS) June 29, 2021
Just a couple of regular, down-to-earth guys engaging in a friendly bit of betting – all so wholesome, right?
The cringey exchange met with a mixed response, with the Twitter account for the Libertarian Party of Kentucky replying sarcastically: “OMG guys, they’re just like us!”
oMg gUyS!!! thEy’Re jUsT LIkE uS!! 🤪😜🤪😜
— Libertarian Party of Kentucky (@lpky) June 29, 2021
Others joked that should the Lightning win, the US could claim Canada’s healthcare system and other assorted social benefits.
“If Tampa Bay wins, Canada gets Trump,” came another response, while some were intrigued as to what the wager would actually be (could either leader do something as zany as donning the jersey of the opposition team, perhaps?).
Elsewhere, it wasn’t lost on some Twitter users that many of the main men in the Tampa Bay ranks were actually Canadian or Russian anyway.
If @TBLightning win, we get Canada’s healthcare system, their maternity and paternity leave, their subsidized prescription drugs, subsidized university tuition and their minimum wage. #GoBolts #NHL #tampabaylightning
— Cyndi Edwards (@ThatTVGal) June 29, 2021
Best players on the Bolts are Russians and Canadians.
— Matthias Martin (@MatthiasWhist) June 29, 2021
Indeed, it was Russia’s Nikita Kucherov who continued his sensational post-season form by starring in Tampa Bay’s 5-1 blowout win in Game 1 in Florida on Monday.
Kucherov recorded two goals and an assist – all in the third period – prompting Lightning captain Steven Stamkos to gush that the Russian was “one of the best players in the world.”
“He’s playing like a beast right now. He’s so, so good,” he added.
Nikita Kucherov is among the main stars for the Lightning. © Reuters
The Canadiens face an uphill task as they aim to become the first team from their homeland to lift hockey’s most prestigious prize since they did so way back in 1993.
But after Kucherov’s heroics on Monday night, it’s advantage Tampa Bay – and advantage Biden.