NHL: President’s curse and season outlook

 Second to the Stanley Cup, the Presidents’ Trophy may be the most prized possession in the National Hockey League.

The Presidents’ Trophy is given to the team that finishes the regular season with the most points. This trophy shows that your offense was able to dominate for an entire season. But just because a team has the most points doesn’t necessarily mean they will be crowned champions of the NHL.

Since 1990, only five teams have won a Stanley Cup after finishing the season with the trophy. The last team to do it was the 2007-2008 Detroit Red Wings.

Does it make sense that a team doesn’t want to be the best in the league? The nature of competition is to be the best. So far this season, there are already six teams with 70 or more points. The Presidents’ Trophy race is a tight one. With half of the season in the books, time is winding down on who will win the trophy.

The leader in the Eastern Conference is the Philadelphia Flyers. They are coming off a season in which they went to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since the 1996-1997 season.

Last season, Flyers fans enjoyed one of the best playoff stories in all of sports since the Boston Red Sox magical World Series run in 2004. The Flyers were down 3-0 to the Boston Bruins in the Conference Semi-finals and stormed back to take the series 4-3. The Flyers ended up losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Finals, as the Blackhawks’ offensive firepower was too much.

Danny Briere leads the Flyers offensively, and so far this season, the team has shown they can light up the lamp, as they are third in the league in scoring.

The Flyers also have two quality goaltenders that are ready to jump in between the pipes when called upon. You can’t forget about the Flyers’ three front lines that consist of speed and talent.

The Flyers have all the tools to win the President’s Trophy, but they must watch their backs, as Pittsburgh, Boston, Tampa Bay and Washington aren’t too far behind them in the standings.

The Penguins are going through the injury bug as star center Sydney Crosby is still trying to recover from a concussion suffered on New Years Day.

The Tampa Bay Lightning has been one of the hottest teams in all of the NHL, but critics wonder if they will continue the hot hand late into the season.

Washington, who won the trophy last season, has one of the best young players in the game, Alex Ovechkin. The Capitals can easily close the gap on the Flyers.

In the Western Conference, Vancouver claims one of the best offenses in the NHL, right ahead of the Detroit Red Wings. The Canucks have been able to score four or more goals at least 10 times already this season.

Vancouver fell to the Blackhawks last season in the playoffs, and is already showing that they have the talent to win the Stanley Cup with a high-powered offense and goaltending that has allowed the least amount of goals this season.

Vancouver looks with the help of the Sedin brothers to bring home the first Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history, as they are both in the top five in points scored. With the Canucks already being favored to win the Stanley Cup, they may want keep their eye out on the points they rack up en route to possibly participating in the Presidents’ Trophy Curse.

The Canucks or Flyers may not even end up with the Trophy, as they look favored for now.

Things change quickly in the NHL as injuries late in the season can knock a team that was once first in the conference and make them a non-playoff team.

With just seven teams in NHL history earning the Presidents’ Trophy and a Stanley Cup in the same season, it’s safe to say no matter what team claims the trophy, history won’t be on their side.

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