Is the NHL’s Presidents’ Trophy curse real?


The President’s Cup isn’t the trophy NHL groups actually need.
Picture: Getty Pictures

The Florida Panthers breezed by way of the primary spherical of the playoffs after which obtained bounced from the second spherical so quick we barely had time for the annual discourse in regards to the Presidents’ Trophy and whether or not it’s a curse for a group’s Stanley Cup hopes.

For the document, it isn’t. First, there’s no disgrace in shedding to the two-time defending Tampa Bay Lightning. Whereas it’s true that no group has completed with the NHL’s prime document and gone on to hoist the Cup since Chicago in 2013, there have been 5 double dippers from 1999-2013, or as soon as each three years or so. That was a scorching run for the dominant regular-season groups.

The NHL launched the Presidents’ Trophy in 1986, and eight groups have adopted it up by profitable the Cup. That’s a 22 % hit charge. Now, let’s do some primary likelihood. Let’s say the primary spherical is a gimme for the most effective group within the league (it isn’t, because the 2019 Lightning confirmed towards the Blue Jackets). However let’s simply say it’s. Then, let’s say, towards a very good group within the second spherical – within the present playoff format, assuredly a division rival that’s effectively outfitted to problem them – a two out of three probability. Give them one other two out of three probability within the convention finals. Honest? OK, now the Stanley Cup Closing is tough, actually a 50-50 proposition in any given 12 months when you think about the bodily and emotional grind it takes to get by way of the primary three rounds.

So… 1 (first spherical) occasions ⅔ (second spherical) occasions ⅔ (convention finals) occasions ½ (remaining) is… 4/18, which reduces all the way down to 2/9, which is… 22.2 %.

The precise variety of Presidents’ Trophy winners go on to win the Stanley Cup as logically ought to. Till somebody screws up the maths subsequent 12 months.

Now, may that be the Panthers? Nicely, the final group to win back-to-back Presidents’ Trophies was the 2016-17 Capitals, and so they obtained knocked out within the second spherical every time. Higher to comply with the trail of the Lightning, who obtained swept by Columbus in 2019 and haven’t misplaced a playoff spherical since, and are actually midway to a 3rd straight Cup.

Clearly, the Blue Jackets’ sweep of the highest group within the league was unprecedented, however the one different occasions a Presidents’ Trophy winner obtained swept in any spherical have been the 1995 Crimson Wings within the Closing towards the Devils and the 1988 Flames within the second spherical towards the Oilers. It ought to soothe Florida to know that this type of exit appears to have a monitor document of inspiration. Tampa Bay clearly is right here in entrance of us now, whereas the Crimson Wings gained the 1996 Presidents’ Trophy and 1997 and 1998 Cups, and the Flames, after their embarrassment within the ‘88 Battle of Alberta, gained the Cup in 1989. The Panthers can hope that’s simply another parallel with the Battle of Florida.

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