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The Golden Knights and Capitals just concluded one of the most memorable seasons in NHL history.
Can Vegas complete what it started next year or will the young franchise come crashing back to earth?
Who are the early favorites for the Hart Trophy, Vezina Trophy, Norris Trophy, and all the major 2019 NHL awards?
The 2018 Stanley Cup is at the books along with the Washington Capitals have, for the first time in franchise history, etched their name onto the storied trophy, setting a catastrophic end to the storybook streak of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.
As we look to 2019, the fundamental question on everybody’s mind is if Vegas was a fluke or if they’ll be contenders for years to come.
Partial responses lie below, as our NHL amount crunchers tabulate the first chances for its 2018-19 NHL season, such as Stanley Cup futures, player-award chances, and more.The Stanley Cup playoffs are a crapshoot. Dominant regular-season teams frequently find themselves bounced by Wild Cards that barely squeaked in. Case in point: only 1 team has captured the Presidents’ Trophy (most points in the regular season) and the cup in the previous decade (2012-13 Blackhawks), and it’s only happened eight times from the 32-year history of the Presidents’ Trophy.
[O]nly one group… has captured the Presidents’ Trophy (most points in the regular season) and the cup in the previous ten years.
Case in point #2: the Capitals were by far the best team in the regular season in both 2015-16 and 2016-17, but it was not until this season — when they ended with the sixth-best album from the NHL along with the tenth-best goal difference — that they finally attained the ultimate prize.
Nevertheless, there’s definitely a top tier of eight teams when it concerns this 2019 Stanley Cup, which ends with Vegas in the list above. By our calculations, there’s a 55% chance that a team from that octet wins the cup.

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