Boston Bruins: Leading the league might be a bad omen

Boston Bruins, Charlie McAvoy #73 (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Boston Bruins, Charlie McAvoy #73 (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

As foolish as it sounds to say winning a trophy is ill-advised; winning the Presidents’ Trophy has proven a bad omen in the past for the Boston Bruins.

Right now, topping the league and pulling clear on the Tampa Bay Lightning with yesterday’s 2-1 victory, the Boston Bruins on on-track to win the Presidents’ Trophy for being first overall across the NHL at the season’s end.

The last accomplished this feat in the 2013-14 season; a year in which they then went on to be knocked out in the second round by the Montreal Canadiens.

The only other time the team has won the Presidents’ Trophy, it also didn’t eventuate in a Stanley Cup win. In the 1989-90 season, they accomplished the goal of being the best in the regular season and even made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final, but were out-done by the Edmonton Oilers, led by that point by Mark Messier.

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In fact, far from just being a curse to the Boston Bruins, it’s seemingly a bad omen for any team. Since it’s introduction in the 1985-86 season, only 8 winners of the trophy have actually gone on to win the Stanley Cup.

The most recent of these was the Chicago Blackhawks side that ultimately toppled the Boston Bruins in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final.

Perhaps there’s something to be said for not quite hitting a consistent rhythm until crunch-time. It sure as heck worked for the St. Louis Blues last year; while they would’ve no doubt won the Presidents’ Trophy if they played their first half like their latter, they found what they needed when it counted.

On the flip side of this whole argument, it’s not as if the Boston Bruins are streaking away with a significant lead in the overall standings. They are just 6 points ahead of the Blues, while the Avalanche will only be 5 points back if they win their games in hand.

Compare that to last year where the Tampa Bay Lightning were essentially coasting to the Presidents’ Trophy by season end. It really was no wonder that they succumbed to an embarrassing first-round defeat in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

It does seem to be a bad omen, but it is one a strong enough team can overcome. The experienced heads of Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron and company should be enough to overcome any nonsense around the trophy being cursed.

They’ve been around the league long enough to realise that superstition can be trumped by strong team performances, regardless of what history might suggest.

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The win in Tampa certainly seems to point to a team that doesn’t care much for this sort of nonsense and is intending to pick up the trophy en-route to a hopeful return to the Stanley Cup Final.