The Bruins Are Keeping an Eye on the Presidents’ Trophy
With the NHL regular season coming to a conclusion in just under two weeks, the race for the Presidents’ trophy is heating up. The Presidents’ Trophy is awarded to the team that finishes the regular season with the most points and grants them home ice advantage for the playoffs
The Washington Capitals have claimed the trophy the last two seasons, but are now finding themselves out of the race leaving the door open for another team. The current leaders are last year’s Stanley Cup runner ups, the Nashville Predators, who are sitting at 109 points. However, four teams are within six points of the Predators, including the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins are looking to get their second Presidents’ Trophy in the past five years. Despite the Bruins being littered with injuries, they continue to find ways to win games and now sit in a race for the best record in the league. Before the Bruins can think about the Presidents’ trophy, they will have to win the Atlantic Division.
Their schedule sees them play division rival, the Tampa Bay Lightning twice, including tonight, who are only three points behind Nashville. These two games are vital to the B’s as they would pass Tampa Bay in the standings and take the lead in the Atlantic Division. Should the Bruins falter and fall short of topping Tampa Bay in the standings, they will have to play the young and impressive Toronto Maple Leafs in round one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. A team that beat the Bruins three times in four games this season. Tonight’s game is a must win for both teams as they will look to move into the driver’s seat in the Atlantic division and keep up with Nashville.
The Black and Gold currently sit four points out of the lead for the Presidents’ Trophy with a game in hand. With seven games left, the B’s would most likely have to win at least five or six of those games, with wins coming against the right opponents to have a chance to contend for the Presidents’ Trophy. While it is plausible, it is going to be a tough task.The Bruins schedule sees them playing three games against current playoff teams, and four games against non-current playoff teams. Tampa Bay, who are a popular Stanley Cup pick by fans across the league after trade deadline acquisitions of Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller will not be an easy team to defeat twice in a week span. Those games against non-playoff teams won’t be easy either. The B’s will play the Florida Panthers three times in nine days.The players on both teams will quickly get to know each other, which will allow them to adapt their play styles, and allow the coaches to develop better game plans. The Panthers are currently three points out of a wildcard spot with one game in hand on the New Jersey Devils. The Bruins will also play division rival, the Ottawa Senators who would will be looking to play the role of spoiler.
. The Bruins could very easily finish the year getting anywhere from two to six wins. The good news is, the current leaders in Music City, also have a tough schedule to finish the season.
The current leaders, the Nashville Predators, are still considered the favorites to win the Presidents’ Trophy. While they have a tough schedule to end the season, they are sitting in a good spot. Nashville will verse four playoff teams in their final six games plus a desperate Florida Panthers team. Even if the Predators would finish the season only getting three wins in their final six games, that would give them a nine-point lead on the nearest team, the Tampa Bay Lightning. To win the Presidents’ Trophy, teams are going to have to hope the Predators struggle down the stretch.
The Tampa Bay Lightning currently sit just three points behind the Predators. But their schedule to finish the season could not be more perfect if they want to win the trophy. They get two games against the Bruins, who they could knock out of the race with two wins. In addition, they get to play the Nashville Predators once. Their remaining three games are against non-playoff teams. If the Lightning can get five wins in their last six games, while defeating the other Presidents’ contenders, they give themselves a good chance to win home ice advantage throughout the playoffs.
The young Winnipeg Jets still have a chance to win home ice advantage throughout the playoffs as well, but they will need some help. The Jets will need teams to drop points, while they run the table. The good news for the Jets is they only have to play one playoff team in their final six games. The Jets could finish the season at max with 116 points. They would need Nashville to get three regular season losses and hope the other teams drop some points. It’s not impossible, but their fate is not in their hands.
The last team that is in the race is the Vegas Golden Knights. And what a season it would be for Vegas, if in their first season ever, they finished the season with the best record in the league. Vegas currently sits six points behind the Predators. Vegas, however, is in a similar situation as the Jets and would have to run the table, while the remaining contenders drop points. This is an extremely unlikely scenario, but never tell Vegas the odds.
The Golden Knights were projected by many to be one of the worst teams in the league in their first ever season, but they have proved those individuals wrong. While it is unlikely, don’t count Vegas out till they are statistically eliminated from the race.
Expect the winner of the Presidents’ trophy to be either Nashville, Boston, or Tampa Bay. Key games to look forward to are both Bruins vs Lightning games, and Nashville vs Tampa Bay. After those games are concluded, we will have a much clearer picture on who will win the Presidents’ Trophy. Lastly just some food for thought, teams that win the Presidents’ Trophy go on to win the Stanley Cup 25 percent of the time.