The Golden Knights and Capitals just concluded one of the most memorable seasons in NHL history.
Can Vegas finish what it started next year or would the young franchise come crashing back to earth?
Who are the early favorites to the Hart Trophy, Vezina Trophy, Norris Trophy, and all the important 2019 NHL awards?
The 2018 Stanley Cup is at the books and the Washington Capitals have, for the first time in franchise history, etched their name onto the storied trophy, putting a catastrophic ending to the storybook run of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.
As we seem to 2019, the central question on everybody’s mind is whether Vegas was a fluke or whether they’ll be contenders for years to come.
Partial responses lie below, as our NHL amount crunchers tabulate the early chances for the 2018-19 NHL year, including 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 group 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 in the 32-year history of the Presidents’ Trophy.
[O]nly one team… has captured both the Presidents’ Trophy (most points in the regular season) and the cup in the last ten years.
Case in point #2: the Capitals were undoubtedly the best team in the regular season in the 2015-16 and 2016-17, but it was not until this year — when they ended with the sixth-best album from the NHL and the tenth-best goal gap — which they eventually attained the ultimate prize.
That said, there’s definitely a top grade of eight teams when it comes to the 2019 Stanley Cup, which finishes with Vegas in the list above. By our calculations, there is a 55 percent chance that a group from that octet wins the cup.
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