For the first time since 1999, the National Hockey League had a back-to-back winner of the Presidents’ Trophy. The Vancouver Canucksclinched the Presidents’ Trophy and the top seed for the playoffs after posting a 3-0 victory over Edmonton Oilers on April 7, the last day of the regular season. Vancouver scored 111 points for the season, outdueling the St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers by two points. The Canucks won it last year by scoring 117 points. Owners of Vancouver Canucks tickets are definitely proud of the achievement their team had this year and a title would definitely put the bad memories they had last year.
Vancouver was a win away from getting their first Stanley Cup but the Boston Bruins had other things in mind. Holding a 3-2 lead, the Canucks lost the two succeeding games and their title drought continued. Since being founded in 1970, the Canucks has already lost thrice in the championship game.
If history repeats itself, Vancouver could have a chance of avenging the stinging defeat they had last year. The Dallas Stars won their second consecutive Presidents’ Trophy in 1999 wherein the prior year that they won it, they lost to the Conference Finals. During the 1998-1999 season, things changed and they won their first-ever Stanley Cup. Vancouver is in the same spot as Dallas was 13 years ago and if they play their cards well, they could follow that achievement of the Stars.
There is a trend however, that doesn’t favor Vancouver. Ever since the award was introduced during the 1985-1986 season, only seven teams went on to win the Stanley Cup title. The last one was the Detroit Red Wings during the 2007-2008 season. Vancouver already experienced the, sort of, “curse” of Presidents’ Trophy winners and performing well during the postseason is the only way they can get rid of it.
The NHL Playoffs will start on Wednesday, April 11, where the Canucks would host the Los Angeles Kings. This matchup was set only on the last day of the regular season when the Kings lost to the San Jose Sharks, the team which held the eighth seed for most of the season. San Jose would have been a favorable matchup since they beat them three out of the four matchups they had this season. With the Kings though, Vancouver split their season series.
Kings center Jarret Stoll was confident about their chances against Vancouver. “We’re looking forward to it. We play well against them and we play well in their building,” Stoll said. Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault agreed with Stoll. He said: “Los Angeles is a tough team. They are a well-structured team that loves to play a defensive type of game.”
In their matchup versus the Kings, the Canucks brings an offense that is one of the best. Their 2.9 goals per game is 5th overall while their 19.8 power play percentage is ranked 4th. Aside from their top-rated offense, Vancouver also gets the job done on the other side of the floor. Their 2.3 goals against is ranked 4th.
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