The grind, she makes it a difficult trek to repeat at Stanley Cup champions… or does she? Can the Colorado Avalanche do it? Can it be done at all?
Is it really that difficult? Perhaps the days of free agency and cap restrictions, maybe? Or is it just a matter of knowing how to control that cap.
The Blackhawks did fine in the 2010’s – they won 3 and hadn’t won since 1961 before that – but inevitably collapsed under the weight. They also have never repeated. Ever.
I am going to ignore the cap. Yeah, I said it – ignore it. Not going to go back into the days of the Original 6 and marvel at their successes. That’d be stupid. For the most part it’s not that great. Here are the Original 6 and their overall Stanley Cup records.
Boston Bruins – 20 appearances, 6 victories (ouch) last appearance 2019
Chicago Blackhawks – 13 appearances, 6 victories (oof) last victory 2015
Detroit Red Wings – 24 appearances (wow!), 11 victories (meh) last appearance 2009
Montreal Canadians – 35 appearances (oh Canada!), 24 victories (amazing) last victory in 1993
New York Rangers – 11 appearances (sad), 4 victories the last one in 1994
Toronto Maple Leafs – 21 appearances, 13 victories… but the last time they appeared was when they won in 1967. It’s a sad state of affairs wearing the blue and white.
With all that history, I am going to back to what the NHL called the “Modern Era” even if said era is more than 50 years ago. Hey, that’s hockey. Stick with the past like a Bears fan. Sometimes that’s all you got.
NHL’s Modern Era began in 1967, effectively cursing the Maple Leafs. The Toronto Maple Leaf squad won the Stanley Cup in ’67, effectively sandwiching their victory between 2 sets of Montreal Canadian repeats to prevent the Habs from making it 5 in a row.
Then Philadelphia repeated. The Flyers as it were.
Then Montreal cranked out 4 championships in a row.
The New York Islanders followed that by drinking from the Cup 4 years straight.
We’re up into the ‘80s now. Gretzky’s Edmonton (pronounced as “Ed-MON-Tawn”) Oilers took the Stanley Cup home in ’84 and ’85, had a burp wherein the Canadians (them AGAIN?! Yep) won in ’86, then the Oilers reeled off two more.
Can you repeat? Apparently yes. Oh but we’re still 35 years ago? True. However…
The Pittsburgh Penguins behind Mario Lemieux repeated in ’91 and ’92.
Detroit Red Wings, under Scotty Bowman, won in ’97 and ’98.
The Penguins repeated again, this time in 2016 and 2017 behind Sidney Crosby.
The Tampa Bay Lightning (hockey FYI should not be played in Florida but that’s another article) repeated in 2020 and 2021.
Satisfied, dare I say happy, we are in the true “Modern Era” now? I hope so.
What’s not going for the Colorado Avalanche to repeat their 2022 Stanley Cup victory? After all, they are the only team to ever get to the Stanley Cup Final and not lose. Pretty nifty IMO. Be that as it may, each Stanley Cup victory has been with a different coach. This year’s team? Same coach as last year – Jared Bednar. Jared you’ve got a lot of work to do fighting the lady known as The Grind but I think you can do it.
Avs hoist the Cup again in June in 6 versus… oh, it doesn’t matter.
Follow me on the Avs trek back and see how they do.