It is never too early to start wondering if the Pittsburgh Penguins are in the midst of a Stanley Cup hangover.
Since 2003, most Stanley Cup champions fail to put up a fight to defend their title.
With the exception of the 2009 Detroit Red Wings, defending champions have been bounced in the first round or missed the postseason completely. Even worse, teams that did qualify for the playoffs all lost their conference quarterfinal opener.
|Year||Defending Champ||First-Round Opponent||Game 1||Quarterfinals|
|2008||Anaheim||Dallas||Lost, 4-1||Lost, 4-2|
|2007||Carolina||Did not qualify
|2006||Tampa Bay||Ottawa||Lost, 4-1||Lost, 4-1|
|2004||New Jersey||Philadelphia||Lost, 3-2||Lost, 4-1|
|2003||Detroit||Anaheim||Lost, 3-2 (OT)||Lost, 4-0|
Is Pittsburgh's 5-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators a sign of things to come?