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The Race For The Presidents’ Trophy

By: Rachel.

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Three games remain for the Boston Bruins as the regular hockey season of 2013-2014 dwindles to a close.  As the Black and Gold aims to rest key players and give them a game or two off to prep for the intense playoff schedule that lies ahead there are still a few games left of hockey to be played.  The Bruins have already clinched the top spot in the East and are currently sitting pretty at the top of the league with the best record.  The St. Louis Blues are a close second to the Bruins.  At the moment the Bruins currently hold onto a three-point lead that keeps them ahead of the Blues.  Both of these teams have spun spectacular stretches of hockey for nearly the entire season and are both challenging teams to face.  The prize that is now at stake before them is the Presidents’ Trophy.

You may have heard some of the rumors that are in the air or the chatter about the controversy that surrounds the President’s Trophy, which was introduced during the 1985-1986 hockey season by the League Board of Governors.  The Presidents’ Trophy is presented to the team who has the best regular-season record with the most points.

When a team takes home the Presidents’ Trophy, not only are they given home ice advantage during the entirety of their journey in the Stanley Cup Playoffs but they are also given $350,000 to be split between the team and it’s players.

The Presidents’ Trophy stirs up several disagreements between hockey fans.  Many people argue about when a team wins the Presidents Trophy and if this matters or not.  A good team should be able to play well on their home ice and play equally was well on the road.  It shouldn’t matter where they are playing.

However the playoffs are nothing short of easy for teams battling for the Stanley Cup.  The road to the Stanley Cup is tiresome where a player always experiences a worn down and roughed up body.  Injuries have become common.  It is a time full of intensity and excitement as strenuous hockey games are being played.  Home ice advantage is always helpful during the Stanley Cup Playoffs because a team is typically more comfortable playing in front of the cheers of their fans on their home sheet of ice.  This is one of the main reasons that fans argue that the Presidents’ Trophy is worth winning.

Not only is the Presidents’ Trophy followed by the controversy of fans arguing whether or not it is an important but rumor also has it that the trophy is shadowed by a curse.

It is very rare for a team to go on to win the Stanley Cup after they have won the Presidents’ Trophy.  Last year, the Chicago Blackhawks took home both the Presidents’ Trophy and the Stanley Cup however less than half of the teams who have won the Presidents’ Trophy in the past have made it into the Stanley Cup Finals.  When the Red Wings won their cup in 2008, they also won the Presidents’ Trophy.  Dating back to the 2002-2003 hockey season, only those two teams (the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings) have gone onto win the Stanley Cup after taking home the Presidents’ Trophy.

If a team that has won the Presidents’ Trophy makes it into the cup finals then their chance of winning good old Lord Stanley increases.  Fans always expect for the team that wins the Presidents’ Trophy to go on and win the Stanley Cup.  These expectations that follow teams who win the Presidents’ Trophy have caused for teams to crumble under pressure.

But what does it really matter?  Does winning the Presidents’ Trophy automatically set you up for failure later on because of this so called “curse”?  It shouldn’t.  Is the Presidents’ Trophy some sort of taboo?

Teams shouldn’t allow for winning the Presidents’ Trophy to define their season.   They’ve worked for a lot more and need to have the ability to stay even keeled and motivated.  Teams shouldn’t think much about winning the Presidents’ Trophy other than the fact that they will get home ice advantage.  Nothing more.  It’s that simple.

The Presidents’ Trophy honestly doesn’t have a curse.  It is simply an old wives tale that has been built up over time as a curse because of how difficult it has become for a hockey team to go all the way and win the Stanley Cup.

The only time that the Bruins won the Presidents’ Trophy was during the 1989-1990 hockey season.  During that season, the Black and Gold won 46 of their 80 games.  They finished their season with 101 points.  The Bruins made it through all the rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs beating the Capitals in the semi finals before they lost four games to one in the finals to the Edmonton Oilers.

Two out of the three remaining Bruins games of the regular season are on the road.  The Bruins will square off against both the Jets and the Devils away from home.  In between those two games, the B’s will return to the Garden to face the Sabres on Saturday.

As the Bruins aim to end their season on a high note, the Blues will be looking to do the same.  If the two teams were to end up in a tie with the most points in the league, then the Presidents’ Trophy would be awarded to the team who has the most wins.

The Big Bad Bruins’ objective all season long has not been to win the Presidents’ Trophy.  They’ve been looking all season long to get back into the Stanley Cup Finals and hopefully win.  With this team, anything seems to be possible as they continue to win without key players and prove that they are a resilient and dominant team against any opponent.