April 6, 2017, 11:54 AM ET [58 Comments]
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The New York Rangers sat about half their team and the Capitals cake-walked to a 2-0 in what was essentially an extended practice.
The result, as should be the case for any team with 4 x #1 defensemen on it, was clinching the President's Trophy, which, thanks to the Russians, is now a trophy people probably want to win even less than usual.
Normally, before the actual President was a criminal being investigated for treason, no one wanted to win it because it was seen as bad luck. Now, this trophy no one wants is hovering around a mind-bending 29% level of popularity!!
Ironically, the Capitals were also helped to their victory by Russians. Only these ones are signed to contracts and are actually allowed to help.
Anyways, of the 29 previous winners, eight have won the Cup, which makes sense when you think about how the Playoffs are very luck based.
The Capitals are the best team in the NHL for the third time in eight years and the second time in a row.
Six previous teams have won the Trophy in back to back years. Of those six, three of them won at least one Stanley Cup.
The odds seem to be in the Capitals favor.....but the first round match-up is going to be tricky. No one will admit to wanting to play Columbus, but their record belies the fact that they were picked by most people to finish in the basement this year.
In comparison, the Lighting and Leafs are better teams that don't have Bobrovsky. The Bruins are simply one of the best teams in the NHL. The only good situation here is the Islanders, and with Tavares out for the year, that's unlikely. All you can do at this point is close your eyes and hope the Senators finish in eighth.
The Capitals have been a Cup Contender for about a decade now, and they are starting to build a reputation as a team that can't close the deal (possibly unfair due to the luck required to win it all) but the possibility of a first-round upset can't be ignored.
I mean, the Caps are a huge favorite no matter who they play, but the thing is, after being the best team in the NHL for 164 straight games, the reward of a first round match-up against Boston or Tampa is a bit of a joke.