The Florida Panthers did not want to hear about the Presidents’ Trophy Curse last season as the Boston Bruins did not entertain any thoughts on it as the playoffs approached this season.
There could be something to it, however, as the top regular season team in the NHL has not won the Stanley Cup since Chicago did so in 2013.
But what about the Presidents’ Trophy Rebound?
The Panthers certainly hope that’s a thing.
Florida, one may recall, was the NHL’s top team during the 2021-22 season, setting franchise records for wins (58), points (122) and goals scored (340).
Yet in June, it was the Colorado Avalanche hoisting the Stanley Cup as the Panthers had long been on vacation after being swept out of the second round by the Lightning.
The Avalanche, of course, won the Presidents’ Trophy the previous season — only to be escorted out of the 2021 playoffs in the second round.
Since 2003, only two teams which won the NHL Presidents’ Trophy won the Stanley Cup that season.
During the same time, three teams which won the trophy the previous season and did not win the Cup did so the following season — and they have all come recently as Colorado did it last year, the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2020 and the Washington Capitals in 2018.
That means three of the past five Cup champions won the Presidents’ Trophy the year before.
Florida would not mind becoming the fourth member of that club.
For the Panthers, this was a season in which repeating as Presidents’ Trophy winners was never an option as Boston ran away with it as it set NHL records for most wins and points in a single season.
The Panthers were just happy to be invited to the Stanley Cup dance.
And they ended up beating those Bruins in 7 games.
“This is the moment that we have been fighting for the whole year,” Radko Gudas said just before the playoffs started.
“It does not matter what happened in the first 82. This is a whole new season. Anything can happen.
“Hey man, we’re in the playoffs. Let’s go. It is a fresh start for everyone. We’re excited to play anyone and the mindset was, get in and whomever we played, they’re going to have to play our game. If we do that, we can beat anyone.”
So far, so good.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
THE 2023 STANLEY CUP FINAL
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
- When: Saturday, 8 p.m.
- Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
- TV: TNT
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM, WPOW 96.5 FM2, WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Series Schedule — Game 1: Saturday at Vegas, 8 (TNT); Game 2:Monday June 5 at Vegas, 8 (TNT); Game 3: Thursday June 8 at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 4: Saturday June 10 at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 5*: Tuesday June 13 at Vegas, 8 (TNT); Game 6*: Friday June 16 at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 7*: Monday June 19 at Vegas, 8 (TNT). * – If Necessary
- 2022-23 Regular Season Series Vs. Vegas (Even 1-1): @Vegas 4, Florida 2 (Jan. 12); @Florida 2, Vegas 1 (March 7)
- All-time Regular Season Series: vs. Vegas Golden Knights lead 6-3-1
- Postseason History: First meeting
- How They Got Here — Vegas: d. Winnipeg in 5, Edmonton in 6, Dallas in 6; Florida: d. Boston in 7, Toronto in 5, Carolina in 4.