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Morning Skate: Can Canucks shun Prez Trophy jinx?

Posted on: April 1, 2011 2:46 am
Edited on: April 1, 2011 12:48 pm

The Vancouver Canucks won their first Presidents' Trophy Thursday, an award for the league's best record that comes with a banner but not much else in recent seasons.

The previous two winners, the San Jose Sharks (2009) and Washington Capitals (2010), failed to make it out of the first round. Only one team over the last seven seasons -- the 2008 Detroit Red Wings -- has won the Presidents' Trophy and then the Stanley Cup. 

No team that has won the Presidents' Trophy for the first time has clinched a title the same season.

"I don't believe there is a Presidents' Trophy jinx," Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis told The Vancouver Sun this week.   

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Introduced coincidently the same year as New Coke, this award was first handed out during the 1985-86 season -- and the trophy has been about as well-received by some as the ill-fated soft drink. It’s the kind of award franchises don't tend to celebrate unless they don't have anything else to raise to the rafters come their home opener the next season.

One of the Sedin twins told The Vancouver Sun after Thursday’s 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings what it meant to him: 

“Nothing,” Daniel Sedin said after pushing closer to matching brother Henrik's Hart Trophy-Art Ross double by scoring one Vancouver goal and setting up another. “Ninety-five per cent of this team has been through playoff failure and we don't want to be part of that anymore. I don't think it's about learning anymore; we've learned enough.
“We're focused every game on playing the right way, and that can't change in the playoffs. That's the mindset we have to have. We don't need to do anything extra, just go out there and take care of business."

The “jinx” may have started at the beginning. The Edmonton Oilers had won back-to-back titles before they became the first recipient of the Presidents’ Trophy. Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and Co. went on to lose in the second round to the Calgary Flames. The Oilers won the Presidents’ again a season later en route to the Stanley Cup title, the first of another back-to-back run. 

Of the first 24 teams to win the Presidents’ Trophy, seven teams (29%) won the Stanley Cup the same season. This comes despite having home-ice advantage, the one tangible reward for the trophy. That could prove huge for the Canucks, who have a league-best home record (26-8-5). 

Vancouver may not be plagued by any curse this postseason. It could just come down to injuries. 

Center Manny Malhotra, whose value in the locker room could be just as key as his prowess in the faceoff circle, is out for the season with an eye injury that required a second surgery this week. Defenseman Dan Hamhuis suffered his second concussion in less than two months on Sunday and is out indefinitely. Forward Mikael Samuelsson missed his fifth consecutive game with an undisclosed injury. Winger Tanner Glass has been out now nine games in a row with an undisclosed injury. 

But the Canucks still have plenty of pieces left, including the matching Swedish ones. Daniel Sedin leads the league with 100 points (41 goals, 59 assists), while brother Henrick has 91 points (19 goals, 72 assists.) Goalie Roberto Luongo its tops in the league in wins (37) and he's third in save percentage (.927) and goals-against average (2.14). Center Ryan Kesler has 37 goals, good enough for fourth in the NHL. 

The Canucks, a franchise celebrating their 40th anniversary, has also set new marks for wins (52), points (113) and road victories (26). 

Of course, not much of this will be looked upon to fondly if the Canucks follow the path of the 2009 Sharks, 2010 Capitals or the other 15 Presidents’ Trophy-winning teams that fell short of getting their names etched on the Cup. 

Atlanta 1, Philadelphia 0
NY Islanders 6, NY Rangers 2
Washington 4, Columbus 3 (OT)
Toronto 4, Boston 3 (SO)
Ottawa 4, Florida 1
Tampa Bay 2, Pittsburgh 1
Minnesota 4, Edmonton 2
Nashville 3, Colorado 2
Vancouver 3, Los Angeles 1
San Jose 6,  Dallas 0  
-- A.J Perez

Photo: US Presswire
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 7:56 pm
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Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: April 1, 2011 3:44 pm

Morning Skate: Can Canucks shun Prez Trophy jinx?

A jinx is only a jinx when it happens all the time.Not 'on occasion'. 
Check out this article on *)
It analyzes the President's Trophy Winners and their playoff performances. Just like every other league - the Top Seed doesn't always win. And just like the NFL and in Baseball, sometimes the top seed bails in the first round. Such is life. When you build parity in a league, it allows for more and more 'upsets'. The fact is, only by the seeding numbers are many of these upsets as opposed to just a team beating another team.

That said, the Canucks still have some injury issues to deal with (Samuelsson, Edler, Alberta, Hamhuis, Malhotra), but they should be healthy enough come play off time to wipe away the bad play off runs to make it deep. Am I calling them to win the Cup? Yes. It's easy to pot shot them and say they won't. You have a 15 in 16 chance of being right. Nice call. The fact is, Luongo has never played this well. He's had two bad series in the playoffs (oddly enough - both against Chicago). He's completely dominated series as well (look back at that series with Dallas in 2007 - he and Turco were sick). And yes...the Olympics are only two weeks, but they carry with it a competely different pressure - a country who expects nothing but gold or it's considered a failure. How is that not equal or more intense pressue? They have more than one scoring line as some misinformed and obvious hockey novice indicated. They have the 4th leading goal scorer in the NHL on their second line - that's not too shabby.
If Edler can come back and put up 1st line minutes, along with Erhoff, Bieksa and Ballard/Hamhuis (depending on Hamhuis' recovery) - they have a top 5 D I would gladly match against any team in the league. 
In the end...I'm making the call:
Vancouver wins the cup in 7 - on home ice (thank you President's Trophy) over my archi-enemy - the Boston Bruins. It'll be Bobby Lou vs Trapeze Act Tim Thomas...and finesse will win out over the bash 'em Boo-ins.

Write that down.

Since: Apr 18, 2009
Posted on: April 1, 2011 2:50 pm

Morning Skate: Can Canucks shun Prez Trophy jinx?

Hmmm.  I suspect shehe knows nothing about hockey.  First of all, the Cannots, original.  Second, the Islanders had already won 4 cups in 85 and the prez trophy had yet to be given out.  Third, the playoffs are for more than a month.  Fourth, the Canucks will give up the fewest goals of any NHL team this year, yeah, their defence sucks.  Please go back to crossdressing shehe

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: April 1, 2011 1:08 pm

Morning Skate: Can Canucks shun Prez Trophy jinx?

The season of 1985-86 ? I recall the Islanders wiining it , the Prez's trophy , the second Cup . Or was that a different trophy ? Anyhoo , I don't think that the Cannots can win the Cup . It takes more then one line to score , and they need a goalie who can take the pressure , Loungo can't . Sure , he won an Olympic gold , big deal . That's not the Cannots , and it is only a two week tourny . The Playoffs last for a month . And , they don't have the defense that they need . As for the Sharks , they only got out of the first gates once . They didn't have any defense , and that is how you win a Cup . It's defense , go and ask any of the winners of the last 20 years , they will tell you .

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: April 1, 2011 12:32 pm

Morning Skate: Can Canucks shun Prez Trophy jinx?

The Canucks have tooled up and have a playoff-ready roster, so I expect success from them.  However, I think consistency might be a problem.  I was at last night's game and the Kings couldn't have played more dead.  Even so, they roughed up the Canucks and played them hard for 2 periods.  So I could just as easily see a team like the Flames or Blackhawks knocking 'em out in the 1st round.

Since: Sep 18, 2006
Posted on: April 1, 2011 12:29 pm

Morning Skate: Can Canucks shun Prez Trophy jinx?

Hmm...jinx???  No.  It means nothing but home-ice throughout.  Considering that 29% of President's Trophy winners actually win the coveted Stanley Cup, roughly one-third, and since San Jose and Washington choked in the last couple of years could that possibly mean Vancouver could be the one-third???  Lol.  That remains to be seen but I tell you this.  I'm a Californian, a Canucks fan, a Center Ice package subscriber, and have watched every Canucks game this season.  There's something different about this team than in years past.  They seem to be all about business on the ice.  Granted they were getting reemed by the refs last night against L.A. and started to lose their composure, complaining and whining to the refs but I told my wife, "a championship team doesn't come unhinged, they persevere."  Guess what?  The pulled it back together, tied the game, and went on to win.  I'm not saying they're absolutely going to win the Cup or even get to the Cup Finals but they're playing and acting like a seasoned veteran team.  It's a very nice thing to see being a Canucks fan.  By the the last 10 years how many NFL teams that led the league in wins went on to win the Super Bowl???  One...the 2004-2005 New England Patriots.  I'll take 29% over 10% any day of the week.  Not to mention the percentages if an NHL team wins the President's Trophy by more than 8 points over the nearest competition.  I believe that percentage goes up into the 40s.  Who cares!?!?!  All this nonsense means is that ONE TEAM will have to win 16 post-season games this year to take home Lord Stanley's Cup and the others can go lick their wounds and play golf.  Cheers to the players of the greatest sport in the world!! 

Since: Feb 26, 2007
Posted on: April 1, 2011 11:18 am

Morning Skate: Can Canucks shun Prez Trophy jinx?

Introduced coincidently the same year as New Coke, this award was first handed out during the 1985-96 season --
Longest season ever recorded in hockey history, many players died that season due to the extra stress placed on their bodies.  Also coincidently the longest rollout of a new soft drink.

Since: Oct 8, 2009
Posted on: April 1, 2011 9:55 am

Morning Skate: Can Canucks shun Prez Trophy jinx?

Sorry Canucks fans, you're screwed. There's no way your team can win the Cup now. Its all over. ;)
Seriously though, all this means is that regular season success does not always mean playoff success. The Canucks have a good chance to get to the Finals this season if they play well. I don't believe in curses.

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