Parity rules in NHL playoffs

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer
The NHL has seen some of its powerhouse teams get knocked out of the playoffs in the first round. Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago and Vancouver are already gone. The Boston Bruins and New York Rangers are teetering on the edge of elimination, getting ready to play their own Game 7s over the next couple of days. It's possible that one (or both) could be joining the aforementioned teams on the golf course.

Many of those teams have won Stanley Cups in recent years. A couple of them (Pittsburgh and Chicago) have the type of young nucleus to their roster that was supposed to result in modern-day NHL dynasties. It hasn't really worked out for any of them. Every team that has won the Stanley Cup in the post-lockout NHL has struggled in the postseason in the years after winning hockey's top prize.

The table below looks at every Stanley Cup winner since 2005-06, the number of times they've qualified for the playoffs after winning, and their won/loss record when it comes postseason series.

As you can see, none of them have had much success.

Recent Stanley Cup Winners
TeamPostseason Appearances after CupPlayoff Series Won/Loss Record
Chicago Blackhawks (2010-11)20-2
Pittsburgh Penguins (2008-09)31-3
Detroit Red Wings (2007-08)45-4
Anaheim Ducks (2006-07)31-3
Carolina Hurricanes (2005-06)12-1

The Chicago, Pittsburgh and Anaheim teams all had impressive collections of young talent. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal for the Penguins. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane for the Blackhawks. Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan for the Ducks. The type of talent that had many drooling at their potential for winning more than one Stanley Cup. Between them, they've won just two of past the eight postseason series they've appeared in.

The only team on this list that had any sort of playoff success after winning the cup was Detroit, a team that returned to the finals the following season only to lose to Pittsburgh (the team it defeated to win the cup the previous year) in seven games.

Two things:

1) Breaking news: It's hard to win the Stanley Cup. It takes the perfect combination of skill, goaltending, coaching, health and, yes, a lot of good luck to make it all the way through the tournament. It's even harder to have all of that fall into place twice.

2) Parity rules in the NHL playoffs. All of the teams above lost significant players over the years due to the salary cap crunch, making it even harder to duplicate the feat, and essentially ending the idea of a "dynasty."

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
 
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