Presidents’ Trophy History

The Vancouver Canucks were widely considered the Stanley Cup favorite heading into this season. Reigning Hart Trophy winner; check. Current Hart Trophy favorite; check. Gold medal winning goaltender; check. Depth additions to their defense and forward corps; check. No Byfuglien in Chicago; check.  They have been so dominant that a 24-5-4 run by San Jose since the All Star break still has them 10 points back of the West lead. But winning the Presidents’ Trophy, the first in their history, doesn’t always translate into success in the playoffs:

 The Presidents’ Trophy was introduced in the 1985-86 season and has been won by 14 different teams (15 including Vancouver). The only team to have won it more than twice is the Detroit Red Wings….with six :). Here are the playoff results of the previous 24 winners of the trophy:

First round elimination: 5 times (including three times in between 2006 and 2010)
Second round elimination: 5 times
Third round elimination: 5 times
Lost in Cup Final: 2 times (Boston in 1990 and Detroit in 1995)
Won Stanley Cup: 7 times (Edmonton ’87, Calgary ’89, NYR ’94, Dallas ’99, Colorado ’01, Detroit in ’02 and ’08)

The good news here is that the Presidents’ Trophy winner has won seven out of nine if they’re lucky enough to get to the Finals. The bad news is that they have only made it there 38% of the time (9 out of 24 seasons).

I think the best thing for the Canucks would be to face the Blackhawks in the first round. Although it’s definitely not the same team they’ve played in previous years, the psychological momentum they would gain from finally defeating their rivals would be a huge step in finally taking that next step.

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