I saw TSN's panel pretty almost all go across the board and pick not only the Nashville Predators to get to the Final again but win it all this time.
Do these "Insiders" just erase all memories of playoffs past as they relate to regular season play?
Do they not realize since 1995 only ONE team (the '09 Pittsburgh Penguins) has gotten back to the Final after losing in the Final the year previous?
Since '95 the previous season's losing Finalist have this "outstanding" record:
Missed the playoffs altogether - 6 teams
Lost in the 1st rd. - 8 teams
Lost in the 2nd rd.- 5 teams
Lost in the Conference Finals - 2 teams
Got back to the Final...and won it--the '09 Penguins
We're Number One!
Even if you go, well, the Preds finished first overall. They're so much better than last season. OK, so were the '15 New York Rangers who won the Presidents' Trophy the year after they went to the Final as the 11th overall team in the league. That 2015 Rangers team fell one round short losing to the Tampa Bay Lighting in seven games in the Eastern Conference Final.
So let's have a look at those teams that improved their records or at least matched their previous season's record the year after they got to the Final:
'96 Detroit Red Wings finished 1st overall again, and Draper gets his face rearranged in the Western Conference Final thanks to the Avs (2nd overall) and that Claude.
'97 Florida Panthers finished 7th again, lost to the Rangers (8th) in the 1st rd.
'01 Dallas Stars stepped up from 6th to 5th overall, beat the Oilers (12th) and lost to the Blues (6th) 4-donut.
'06 Calgary Flames leaped from 12th to 7th, lost to the then Mighty Ducks (12th) in the 1st rd.
'11 Philadelphia Flyers catapulted from 18th to 3rd, beat the Sabres (15th), swept by the Bruins (7th) in the 2nd rd.
'12 Vancouver Canucks finished 1st overall again, couldn't get out of rd. 1 vs. the Kings (13th).
'14 Boston Bruins 5th to 1st overall, beat the Red Wings (15th) and, of course, lose to the Habs (9th) in the 2nd rd.
Again? Didn't Cam Neely stop all this suffering?
'15 New York Rangers 11th to 1st, beat the Pens (15th), Caps (9th) and lose in seven to the Ning (5th).
'17 San Jose Sharks stay in 11th place overall, lose to the McDonut Oilers (8th) in the 1st rd.
Why are the Nashville Predators going to be any different? Maybe they are and it'd be great for hockey to see a Cup won for one of the best fan bases in hockey as well as once of the most underrated coaches in Peter Laviolette who has taken three different teams to the Final ('17 Preds, '10 Flyers and '06 Canes) and won it all with those '06 Canes. Who wouldn't want to see P.K. Subban stick it to Marc Bergevin and lift a Cup? I know most hockey fans do. Even so and with an in-form Pekka Rinne, history tells us otherwise.
Back to the Preds "won the Presidents' Trophy so they're really good" thought, but from this list above we can see four Presidents' Trophy winners who failed to get back to the Final.
In fact, overall the Presidents' Trophy winning teams period don't have much success in getting to Finals period. Since '95 only seven Presidents' Trophy teams even gotten to the Final. Somebody needs to ask the Detroit Red Wings what the formula is because they've done it three times ('95, '02 and '08). The others are the '99 Hitchcock Stars, the '01 Avs, the '11 Choke Job Canucks and the '13 Lockout Season Blackhawks. The rest, thanks for playing. Better luck as a lower seed some other season.
Volek Or Halak--Pick Your Poison, Penguins
Hm, yes, they can but again it'll have to be by bucking history.
Of the teams to get to two Finals in a row, getting to that third one consecutively has been impossible since the Isles' 1980s' dynasty.
Here's the sad list:
'86 Oilers (1st overall)--a Steve Smith own goal and boom goes the dynamite! The Flames triumph in Game 7.
'89 Oilers trade Gretzky in the off-season and end up losing to him and the LA Kings in rd. 1. They win a Cup a year later so can't complain too much.
'93 Pens (1st overall and winners of an NHL record 18 games in a row)--hello, Isles' David Volek in a Game 7 OT.
'99 Red Wings meet your annual blood feud rival Avs and out in rd. 2.
'01 Stars inexplicably get swept by the Blues in rd. 2.
'02 Devils (who precipitously dropped from 3rd to 10th overall) lost to the Canes (16th) who Paul Maurice (hey, Jets' fans!) coached to the Final.
'10 Red Wings (also fell to 10th overall from 3rd) fell to the Sharks in rd. 2.
'10 Penguins got Halaked in rd. 2 by the 19th-placed Habs.
So, yeah, enjoy that Penguins' 7-0 whitewash in Game 1 and inevitable series win over a Flyers' team that has not beaten the Pens all season long. Those betting might want to place a small wager that the Pens' run gets Voleked or Halaked in rd. 2.
Hey, nice pass, Ferraro!