Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/30/13 at 03:26 PM ET
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
Parity. That has been the theme in the NHL. The standings have been packed tightly, and teams have jockeyed for position down to the last day of the regular season. The feeling has been that if you just get in the playoffs, you can win the Stanley Cup.
Still, even with the salary cap, this has been a stratified league with elite teams, middle-tier teams and bottom-feeders. No matter the system, some simply have better management, better coaching and better players. Though there have been upstarts and upsets, generally the cream has risen, and some have stayed at or near the top over time.
Yes, the Los Angeles Kings won the Cup as a No. 8 seed in 2012. The truth is, they underachieved in the regular season and were an outlier. Top-four seeds won the Cup every other year since 1996.
The Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins all have made multiple Cup finals since 2008. The Kings returned to the conference finals last season with the Bruins, ’Hawks and Pens – while the Wings went to overtime of Game 7 in the second round – and the ’Hawks became the first NHL team to win the Cup twice in the cap era.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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