It’s that time of year again! The NHL playoffs are in Full Swing and we want to know who you think will take home the Stanley Cup Fill out our bracket challenge for a chance to win prizes, and share your predictions with us on social media using the hashtag #StanleyCup.
Why the Stanley Cup is the most coveted prize in hockey
The Stanley Cup is the most coveted prize in hockey. It is the oldest professional sports trophy in North America and it has been awarded to the NHL Champion since 1926. The Cup is named after Lord Stanley of Preston, who was the Governor General of Canada from 1888 to 1893. He donated the trophy to be used as “an outward and visible sign of the Hockey Championship of the Dominion of Canada.”
The Stanley Cup is made of sterling silver and is about 3 feet tall. It weighs 34 pounds and has a capacity of 14 ounces. The names of all the winning players, coaches, and managers are engraved on the Cup. There are currently three bands on the Cup, each containing 13 rows of engravings. The bottom band is from 1953–54, when there were only seven teams in the NHL. The middle band is from 1955–66, when the NHL expanded to 12 teams. The top band is from 1967–68, when the NHL expanded to 14 teams.
The Stanley Cup playoffs are a best-of-seven series between the 16 teams that qualify for the playoffs. The playoffs start in April and end in June, with the Stanley Cup Finals taking place in late May or early June.
A history of the Stanley Cup
The Stanley Cup is the most storied trophy in all of professional sports It has been awarded to the championship team in the National Hockey League since 1893, making it the oldest professional sports trophy in North America The Cup was first presented to the Montréal Hockey Club (later known as the Canadiens) in 1894 by then-Governor General of Canada, Lord Stanley of Preston.
The Stanley Cup is unique among professional sports trophies in that it is historic and has a deep meaning to the teams and their fans. Unlike other trophies that are simply passed from one team to the next each year, the Stanley Cup has its own story and tradition. For example, each team that wins the Stanley Cup gets to keep it for one year and each player on the winning team gets to take home a replica (known as a “Stanley Cup ring”). The rings are then returned to the Hockey Hall of Fame where they are put on display. The original Stanley Cup is also on display at the Hall of Fame but it goes on tour each summer so that fans across Canada can see it.
The Stanley Cup is also unique because it is not just awarded to the winning team of the playoffs, but also to the players, staff, and management of the team. This tradition started in 1892 when Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley, Lord Stanley of Preston (1841-1908), bought a silver punch bowl for 10 guineas (about $50 at today’s prices) from London silversmiths Garrard & Co. He wanted to give it to “the Hockey Club having done best in Ice Hockey during any season”.
How the Stanley Cup Playoffs work
The Stanley Cup playoffs are a best-of-seven tournament held after the NHL regular season to determine the championship of the National Hockey League (NHL). The playoffs began on April 11, 2018, and will end in June 2018.
Stanley Cup Playoff Bracket challenge
The defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins are once again one of the favorites, but they’ll have to get past some tough competition to repeat. The Nashville Predators Winnipeg Jets and Boston Bruins are all solid teams that could make a run at the Cup.
Of course, there’s always the possibility of an upset. The Cinderella story is always a popular pick in the playoffs, so don’t count out any team just because they’re not one of the favorites.
Make your picks and see how your bracket stacks up against friends, family and other hockey fans!
Who will win the Stanley Cup?
The defending champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins are back and looking to repeat. They have a tough road ahead of them, however, as they are in the same division as the Washington Capitals who had the best record in the NHL this season.
Another team to watch is the Nashville Predators who are looking to make a deep run in the playoffs after coming up just short last year. They have one of the best defenses in the league and will be a tough out for any team they face.
So who will win the Stanley Cup? We’ll have to wait and see!
Stanley Cup predictions
The 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs are upon us! We asked our writers who they think will win it all, and here are their predictions.
Will the Tampa Bay Lightning finally claim Lord Stanley’s hardware? Can the Winnipeg Jets repeat as Western Conference champions? Will this be the year the Washington Capitals finally get over the hump?
Only time will tell, but in the meantime, be sure to get your predictions in for our Playoff Bracket Challenge!
Stanley Cup Finals preview
With the NHL Playoffs underway, it’s time to start thinking about who will be playing for the Stanley Cup The Stanley Cup Finals are a best-of-seven series between the Eastern and Western Conference champions. This year’s playoffs will feature some great match-ups, so it’s tough to say who will come out on top.
In the East, the Tampa Bay Lightning are the favorite to win it all. They’re led by leading scorer Nikita Kucherov, who had 128 points in the regular season The Lightning also have one of the best goaltenders in the league in Andrei Vasilevskiy, who had a .925 save percentage this season. They’ll be up against the Boston Bruins in the first round. The Bruins are no stranger to winning, as they’ve won six Stanley Cups in their history. They have a great defenseman in Zdeno Chara and a Vezina Trophy finalist in goaltender Tuukka Rask. It should be a great series between these two teams.
In the West, there are a few teams that could make a run at the Stanley Cup The Nashville Predators are led by defenseman Roman Josi, who had 82 points in the Regular Season and goaltender Pekka Rinne, who had a .927 save percentage this year. The Calgary Flames also had a great regular season as they were led by scoring leader Johnny Gaudreau and goaltender David Rittich, who had a .924 save percentage. These two teams will face off against each other in the first round of the playoffs, so we’ll see one of them eliminated early on.
The Winnipeg Jets are another team to watch out for in the West. They’re led by forwards Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler, who both had over 90 points in the Regular Season They also have a Vezina trophy finalist in goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. They’ll be up against the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the playoffs. The Blues are coming off of a disappointing regular season but they have proven playoff performers like forward Vladimir Tarasenko and goaltender Jordan Binnington.
It should be a great Stanley Cup Playoffs this year with plenty of surprises along the way. Who do you think will win it all?
How to watch the Stanley Cup playoffs
With the Stanley Cup playoffs set to begin on April 11, here’s a quick guide on how to watch all the action.
Here is the schedule for the first round of the playoffs:
(All times ET)
Wednesday, April 11
--Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
--Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Columbus Blue Jackets 7:30 p.m. (CNBC)
-Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes 8 p.m. (USA Network)
--Nashville Predators vs. Dallas Stars 9:30 p.m. (CNBC)
-Vegas Golden Knights vs. Los Angeles Kings 10 p.m.. (NBCSN)
--San Jose Sharks vs Anaheim Ducks 10:30 p..m.. (NBCSN)
Stanley Cup playoff schedule
The National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs are an elimination tournament held after the conclusion of the regular season to determine which team from each conference will advance to the Stanley Cup Finals The tournament is a best-of-seven series, and follows a modified bracket format. Each team is placed into either the Eastern Conference or the Western Conference bracket, and will compete against teams within their own conference. The four division winners in each conference receive a bye to the second round of the playoffs, while the remaining teams (Wild Card qualifiers) compete in the first round for the right to play one of the division winners in the second round. The conference finalists advance to compete for the Stanley Cup
past Stanley Cup champions
-The Stanley Cup is a trophy awarded annually to the National Hockey League playoff champion at the end of each season.
-It was donated by Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor General of Canada, in 1892 and first awarded to the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association in 1893.
-The Montreal Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup 24 times, the most of any team. The Edmonton Oilers have won it 11 times, the second most.
-The most recent Stanley Cup champions are the Washington Capitals, who won it in 2018.