The Vancouver Canucks won their first Presidents’ Trophy in their 40-year history following a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings Thursday night. Despite falling behind early, the Canucks fought back with goals from Daniel Sedin, Christian Ehrhoff and Ryan Kesler.
Ending the regular season with more points than any other team should be a huge confidence boost going into the playoffs. However, only one Presidents’ Trophy winner since the lockout has gone on to win the Stanley Cup.
In 2008, the Detroit Red Wings ended the regular season with 115 points. The wings were by far the best team in the league, going on to beat Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup finals.
Other than Detroit’s 11th Stanley Cup, no Presidents’ Trophy winner has even come close since the lockout. The Wings were odds-on favorites to lift the Cup in 2006, but were dumped out by the eventual Western Conference champion Edmonton Oilers in the first round. The Buffalo Sabres were eliminated in the Eastern Conference finals after winning the Trophy in 2007. More recently, the San Jose Sharks were dumped out in the first round of the playoffs in 2009 and last season the Montreal Canadiens disposed of the Washington Capitals in the first round after trailing the series three games to one.
Winning the Presidents’ Trophy is obviously a huge confidence boost. However, it also puts a lot of pressure on a team to go all the way and win the Stanley Cup.
This year’s winners, the Vancouver Canucks have it all to lose.
This isn’t to say that the Canucks are destined to fall in the playoffs. However, it does mean that they need to show a lot of mental strength during the postseason. Vancouver has showed consistency by winning the trophy and they’ve been the best team in the league this season.
The Canucks are well trained in mental strength. They cover a lot more miles than any other team throughout the season, while the city of Vancouver expects its team to win every night. The Canucks have dealt with the pressure all season long, but it is about to get a lot more intense.
The Canucks have never won the Stanley Cup, and with many, including Wayne Gretzky, tipping Alain Vignealt’s team for the Cup this time, the pressure on Roberto Luongo and the rest of the Canucks is pretty imense.
Since the President’s Trophy was introduced since 1986, only seven winners have gone on to hoist the Stanley Cup. Vancouver has a great chance at lifting the cup if they can remain injury-free.
Champions turn it up a notch when it matters. This year will be no exception.