Kukla's Korner

Looking For A Hangover Cure

With the Pittsburgh Penguins sliding out of a playoff spot after their recent shutout loss to the New York Rangers, it’s time to start talking Stanley Cup hangover. No, it’s not just teams that win the actual Cup that seem to have a hangover. Take a look at what’s happened to the finalists since the 2000-01 season—it ain’t pretty:

2001: Colorado beats New Jersey
Colorado: Lost in Conference Final
New Jersey: Lost in 1st round

2002: Detroit beats Carolina
Detroit: Lost in 1st round
Carolina: Did not qualify

2003: New Jersey beats Anaheim
New Jersey: Lost in 1st round
Anaheim: Did not qualify

2004: Tampa Bay beats Calgary
Tampa Bay: Lost in 1st round
Calgary: Lost in 1st round

2006: Carolina beats Edmonton
Carolina: Did not qualify
Edmonton: Did not qualify

2007: Anaheim beats Ottawa
Anaheim: Lost in 1st round
Ottawa: Lost in 1st round

Between both the winner and the Cup finalist, only one team out of 12 made it past the first round. Carolina holds the distinction of being the only Cup winner not to at least make the playoffs (2007), but all the rest besides the Avalanche (2002) got bounced in the first round. As for the runner-up? Half didn’t qualify for the playoffs, half got knocked out of the first round.

Perhaps it’s the physical and mental exhaustion involved with playing into June. Maybe it takes more time for bodies to heal, or maybe the pressure of heightened expectations ruin team chemistry. Whatever the case, the fact that the Penguins are struggling isn’t that surprising when looking at these trends. Stanley Cup hangover? Maybe teams need to take a Chaser before the playoffs start this season (and don’t forget, Chaser For Wine too).

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Filed in: NHL, | Mike Chen's Hockey Blog | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs

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