blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: Presidents' Winners & Defending Cup Champions

Friday, May 13, 2016

Presidents' Winners & Defending Cup Champions

Since the inaugural offering of the Presidents' Trophy in 1986, awarded to the team with the best regular season record, its recipient has drawn the defending Stanley Cup champions seven times in the subsequent postseason. The chart below shows each meeting by year, matchup and outcome.

1988 Edmonton Oilers over Calgary Flames
4-0 (Q)
1992 Pittsburgh Penguins over New York Rangers
4-2 (Q)
1998 Detroit Red Wings over Dallas Stars 
4-2 (S)
2001 Colorado Avalanche over New Jersey Devils 
4-3 (F)
2002 Detroit Red Wings over Colorado Avalanche 
4-3 (S)
2011 Vancouver Canucks over Chicago Blackhawks 
4-3 (P)
2013 Chicago Blackhawks over Los Angeles Kings 
4-1 (S)

(P = Preliminary, Q = Quarterfinal, S = Semifinal, F = Final)

In the first three postseason meetings between the regular season's best and defending league champs, the Stanley Cup champions won (1988, 1992, 1998) and went on to hoist consecutive Stanley Cups. The next four matchups saw the Presidents' Trophy winners oust the defending Cup champions (2001, 2002, 20112013) and win the Stanley Cup in every instance but one (Vancouver 2011).

The most recent clash occurred in the Semifinal of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs when the Presidents' winning Chicago Blackhawks defeated the 2012 Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.
The Blackhawks advanced to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final where they beat the Boston Bruins for their second Stanley Cup win in four years.

This year's postseason saw the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks bounced by the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the Preliminary round and the Presidents' Trophy winning Washington Capitals' playoff cut short by the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of the Quarterfinal round, putting us three years from the last happening of this uncommon occurrence.

* See also NHL Playoff Seeding And Stanley Cup Wins.
* See also NHL Stanley Cup Playoff First Round Upsets.
* See also NHL Presidents' Trophy Winners & Playoff Success.