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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Will the Hockey Gods Once more Unleash the Presidents’ Trophy Curse?

Within the NHL, the Boston Bruins have been impressing week after week, placing up extra objectives, factors, and wins to get them on tempo to smash new information. Nonetheless, the NHL is notoriously the North American league with probably the most unpredictable postseason.

The winner of the common season will get the Presidents’ Trophy. Over 36 seasons up to now, this prize has gone to the staff that has confirmed to be the perfect within the league format of play. As soon as every playoff sequence has been determined, it’s invariably the Presidents’ Trophy winner who leads the favorites within the odds until main accidents happen late.

Even with this logical notion, the Presidents’ Trophy is a poor indicator of playoff readiness, it appears. Of the 36 Trophy winners, solely eight have gone on to hoist the Stanley Cup as the final word champions of the marketing campaign. The Bruins could properly beat information for his or her common season efforts, however that’ll assist little within the postseason.

An outstanding effort from the Boston Bruins in 2022/23

It’s unimaginable to disclaim that the Boston Bruins have been an exemplary hockey staff all through the 2022/23 marketing campaign. With simply 12 video games to go, the staff had lengthy secured a playoff place whereas not a single different staff had accomplished so, boasted an absurd +114 purpose differential, and a document of 42-11-5 by 70 video games.

As the tip of the marketing campaign approached, statisticians ran the numbers to aim to foretell if the Bruins would change into new record-holders. As relayed by Sporting Information, they had been projected to finish with 130 factors and end two away from the main tally of the Canadiens in 1976/77, and even beat the 63-win document of the 2018/19 Tampa Bay Lightning.

Such an almighty season – even when they had been to drop off from their indomitable .807 level proportion – has inevitably given the supposed Presidents’ Trophy winners a substantial lead within the odds at +375 over their nearest rivals. That staff is the Colorado Avalanche at +700 from the alternative convention – in order that they wouldn’t want to satisfy the Bruins till the Stanley Cup Finals.

What’s necessary is how ready the staff is for the trials of the playoffs. They’re intense, bodily, and mentally draining affairs, requiring every participant to up their recreation immensely. Because of this a Stanley Cup betting technique is to depend on a staff’s playoff efficiency. Components like main participant accidents, away information, expertise, and lapses in focus or bodily endurance all matter tremendously, as are these identified to blossom within the playoffs.

On this regard, bar a whole collapse within the ultimate stretch, the Bruins look well-set for a robust postseason run. It is a staff punctuated by veterans who’ve gone deep into the playoffs earlier than, which is able to show invaluable. As for stats, David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, Jake DeBrusk, and Charlie Coyle all common over 1.00 objectives per 60 minutes in all conditions throughout playoff video games. Patrice Bergeron and Taylor Corridor aren’t far behind.

As for factors per 60 minutes in all conditions of playoff video games, per the QuantHockey statistics, Pastrnak (3.3), Marchand (2.6), David Krejci (2.5), Bergeron (2.3), Coyle (1.97), DeBrusk (1.8), Corridor (1.7), Tomáš Nosek (1.4), and Charlie McAvoy (1.3) all clearly flourish beneath postseason strain. Nonetheless, there are query marks over the goaltending.

Linus Ullmark isn’t simply having an excellent season: he’s having a exceptional one. Via 42 begins, the towering Swede has secured a 35-5-1 document bolstered by a robust 1.95 objectives towards common and excellent .937 save proportion. Serving to is that he’s solely recorded two shutouts to swing these numbers. He’s been constantly constant.

Nonetheless, looming over Ullmark because the playoffs method is his distinct lack of expertise. His solely video games within the postseason up to now are two begins final season, each of which led to losses to complete eight objectives towards. His understudy, Jeremy Swayman, has a bit extra expertise at solely 24 years previous, recording a 3-3 document from 5 begins.

Goaltenders are, maybe, a very powerful gamers on the ice for hockey groups. A scorching hand could make even an outskirts contender change into a Stanley Cup winner. Ullmark has had a scorching hand for a lot of the season, but when he crumbles when the enterprise finish of the marketing campaign commences, it’s honest to say that this Bruins facet will battle to safe sufficient wins throughout every sequence.

In 2019, simply after the Lightning posted a record-tying wins tally to land the Presidents’ Trophy, Tampa Bay collapsed in its entirety. Developing towards a late entrant, the Bolts had been anticipated to obliterate the Columbus Blue Jackets within the opening sequence. As an alternative, the staff proved ill-adjusted to hostile outcomes. Celebrity goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy put up a .856 save proportion out of nowhere, they usually bowed out as 0-4 losers within the first spherical.

Which groups might capitalize on a possible Bruins implosion?

The primary groups to get a swing on the expectations-laden Bruins will likely be from the Jap Convention. Assuming that they’ll be the Presidents’ Trophy winners, the Bruins will probably face the Florida Panthers, New York Islanders, or Pittsburgh Penguins first.

Each the Islanders and Panthers enter their final ten video games with wonderful momentum, however the former notoriously struggles for objectives whereas the latter has allowed by far the best tally of any playoff contender. In the event that they keep true to type, the league chief in each objectives for and objectives towards shouldn’t have any points with both facet.

Wanting deeper into the doable playoff brackets, you can definitely class the star-studded Toronto Maple Leafs or current back-to-back champions, the Lightning, as high contenders to the crown from Boston’s convention. The Buds, significantly, have a excessive mountain to climb right here as they haven’t gained within the first spherical of the playoffs in any of their final six makes an attempt – every of which has come within the final six seasons.

By way of the Metropolitan Division, there’s a heated race for the highest between the Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils, however the New York Rangers are definitely an attention-grabbing staff to comply with. After the commerce deadline, the highest six are overly stacked, including Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane to the likes of Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, and Vincent Trocheck.

These two traces can rating a number of objectives towards any staff in any recreation, and their protection has held up pretty properly all through the season with solely 194 objectives towards in 71 video games. Momentum coming into the playoffs and a shortened opening sequence might make the Rangers an actual risk to go to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

On the opposite facet of the bracket, the reigning champions, the Colorado Avalanche, have swiftly re-entered the equation. After going 20-17-3 by to January, the Avs out of the blue switched on – largely because of the return of main gamers who had been injured – to tear off three separate six-game successful streaks as much as their seventieth recreation of the season.

These runs saved the marketing campaign for the Avs and reasserted them because the staff to beat within the Western Convention. A sneaky contender of their Central Division, nevertheless, will likely be trying to cease them rapidly. The Dallas Stars have been defensively sound this season, and have scored loads of objectives, however there are fears that they’ve overworked Jake Oettinger as a result of his performances falling off the tempo in the direction of the backend of the season.

Given their two star gamers, the Edmonton Oilers will stay within the dialog to lastly win the Stanley Cup once more. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are hotter than ever, Mattias Ekholm has solidified the protection in a really quick time, and the decrease traces are placing up objectives – so it’s not nearly McDavid carrying the staff. Once more, nevertheless, goaltending will likely be introduced into query when the primary sequence commences.

After such an imperious common season, it is smart that almost all see the Boston Bruins going all the best way in 2023, but when they did so, they’d be among the many minority to defy the curse of the Presidents’ Trophy.

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