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