Since 1987, fourteen NHL teams advanced to the Stanley Cup finals in 15 games or less, five won the Stanley Cup.
2018: Vegas Golden Knights (15)
2012: LA Kings (14)
2008: Pittsburgh Penguins (14)
2007: Ottawa Senators (15)
2003: Anaheim Ducks (14)
1999: Buffalo Sabres (15)
1997: Philadelphia Flyers (15)
1995: New Jersey Devils (15)
1995: Detroit Red Wings (14)
1993: Montreal Canadiens(15)
1992: Chicago Blackhawks (14)
1989: Montreal Canadiens (15)
1988: Edmonton Oilers (14)
1987: Edmonton Oilers (14)
*Bold = Won Cup
This postseason the Golden Knights swept LA, beat San Jose in six games, and ruined all of Canada’s dreams in five games. Combined, Vegas will have 21 days off in between series this postseason. It’s very rare for a team to have that much rest in between playoffs series. To compare, back to back Stanley Cup champs Pittsburgh Penguins had 19 days off between series in 2016 and 2017 combined.
Teams to make the Stanley Cup finals in 15 games or less are 5-8 since 1987. Not ideal, but also not much of a trend to get upset about if you’re a Golden Knights fan. In that same timespan, 26 NHL Champions took 15 or more games to get to the Cup finals.
Continuing in the useless trend department, the Golden Knights should feel good about Deryk Engelland handling the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl. Pittsburgh is 3-0 when they touched the Prince of Wales trophy, but prior to 2016, six champions in a row did not touch their conference prizes.
2017: Pittsburgh- Touched trophy
2016: Pittsburgh- Touched trophy
2015: Chicago- Did not touch trophy
2014: Los Angeles- Did not touch trophy
2013: Chicago- Did not touch trophy
2012: Los Angeles- Did not touch trophy
2011: Boston- Did not touch trophy
2010: Chicago- Did not touch trophy
2009: Pittsburgh- Touched Trophy
2008: Detroit- Did not touch trophy
2007: Anaheim- Did not touch trophy
2006: Carolina- Did not touch trophy
2004: Tampa- Did not touch trophy
2003: New Jersey- Touched the trophy
2002: Detroit- Touched the trophy
2001: Colorado- Touched the trophy
2000: New Jersey- Touched the trophy
As you can see, touching or not touching conference trophies appears to have no effect on the series outcome (shocking right?). Since 2000, ten teams that traditionally stayed away from the conference trophy went on to hoist the Cup, while seven other Stanley Cup champions bear-hugged the Prince of Wales Trophy or the Campbell Bowl. We’ll have to wait to see what the Capitals or Lightning decide to do.
Tampa went on to win it all after they picked up the Wales trophy in 2004. However, they followed suit in 2015 and lost to Chicago in the finals. As for the Capitals, they touched the conference trophy in 1998, but got swept by the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup finals.
Even better news for Golden Knights fans is Western Conference teams that touched the Campbell trophy are 5-2. Again, none of this matters because the Golden Knights have no record to go on.
Although, they are 1-0 making the Stanley Cup finals in their first season. That’s the kind of trend we can get on board with.