Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The President's Day Precedent, Part 1

Seeing how the NHL's best has fared in the postseason.

The President's Day Precedent, Part 1

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(BoopNote: We will address this situation — how often the regular season's best team has won the title lately — for each of the other three major sports throughout the day. Next up: baseball at 4 p.m., if you can stand it.)

At a reader's (or is it a "viewer's") suggestion, in honor of President's Day we've been asked to take a look at the most recent President's Trophy winners (which goes to the NHL's top regular season team) and see how often that team has emerged with the Stanley Cup.

Turns out, not too often, unless you are the Detroit Red Wings. They are the only team in the last nine seasons to finish what they started in the regular season. In fact, we just realized that the Stanley Cup has been won by eight different teams the last eight times it has been awarded. (The Flyers, if they could get their act together, could extend that string. But I wouldn't hold your breath or put the kids' college tuition money down on it.)

Since 1989-90, only five of the 21 President's Trophy winners have won the Cup. Here are the last 10:

Season No. 1 Team Record Pts.    Elimininated in Titlist
2010-11 Canucks 54-19-  9 
117 Stanley Cup Finals
2009-10 Capitals 54-15-13 121 First Round Blackhawks  
2008-09    Sharks 53-18-11 117 First Round Penguins
2007-08 Red Wings 54-21-  7 115 Red Wings
2006-07 Sabres
Red Wings
53-22-  7
Conference Finals
Conference Finals
2005-06 Red Wings 58-16-  8 124 First Round Hurricanes
2003-04 Red Wings     48-21-11 109 Conference Semifinals Lightning
2002-03 Senators 52-21-  8 113 Conference Finals Devils
2001-02 Red Wings 51-17-10 116 Red Wings
2000-01 Avalanche 52-16-10 118 Avalanche
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About this blog

Boop – who goes by Bob Vetrone Jr. when he is undercover or paying bills – has been at the Daily News since 1982, after working for five years at the Philadelphia Bulletin up to its closing. Along with helping to build the sports scoreboards most nights, he has had great input into the papers’ special sports pullouts – March Madness, Broad Street Run, Record Breakers, Greatest Moments – as well as its day-to-day, award-winning event coverage.

A 1980 graduate of North Catholic, he took some evening college courses. Those lasted right up until the first conflict with a Big 5 doubleheader.

His favorite books growing up were the NBA Guide and the Baseball Encyclopedia, which was, for all intents and purposes, the Internet before there was an Internet.

He has been immersed in sports statistics since the early 70s, when his father (long-time sports writer, broadcaster and the Daily News’ Buck The Bartender), would take him into the Bulletin newsroom overnight in the summer and let him update the Phillies statistics in a little, black spiral notebook. But things have changed tremendously in the decades since … He now uses a big, black spiral notebook.

To listen to Boop on 94WIP, click here.

Reach Bob at vetronb@phillynews.com.

Bob Vetrone Jr.
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