Addison Ruscoe '23
The President's Trophy has been given out since 1986 in the NHL (National Hockey League) This trophy goes to the team with the best record in the league at the end of the season before the playoffs. Sure, the favorites and best team in the league will not always win it all. However, winning the President's Trophy means it is more than likely you will not bring home the glorious Stanley cup.
Since 2009 only one team who won the president's trophy has won the Stanley cup: the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012. In 10 of the last 13 years the President's Trophy winner has not made it past the second round of the playoffs. In fact, four teams lost in the very first round.
The hometown Tampa Bay Lightning has the worst of the curse. In 2019 they tied the best regular season in hockey history. They went up three to nothing quickly in game one, losing 4-3. The Columbus Blue Jackets then ended up winning the next three games and knocking out the Lightning.
Tampa has made up for this choke with two straight Stanley cups. However, they were not winners of the President's Trophy either of those years.
Fast forward to 2022 where once again it looks like the President's Trophy winner is bound to take a loss early in the playoffs. This year it’s the Florida Panthers who dominated the league all year, played like the best team, and looked like they were going to be the ones to break this curse.
Florida scrapped by the Washington Capitals in round one with a tight six game series. However, in round two they were set up to play the two-time defending champion Lightning. That has not gone well for the Panthers.
Losing game one 4-1, then a terrible defensive play during game two led to a Ross Colton game winner with 3.8 seconds left. Another terrible showing by the Panthers in game three resulted in a 5-1 loss.
The Panthers now sit on the brink of elimination tonight. They will have to find a way to beat Andre Vasaliskey, who has not lost back-to-back playoff games since 2019, four times in a row.
The curse is alive.