Have the top two teams in the NHL ever met in the Stanley Cup Finals?

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If Sidney Crosby is right, the Stanley Cup Final that gets underway Monday between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the San Jose Sharks could be something special.

“This is going to be probably some of the fastest hockey that any of us have ever played,” he said.

Crosby's not just selling the company line. The NHL has carefully crafted its rules to promote both speed and scoring. Both the Sharks and Penguins thrive when the the game is played at a high tempo. Not coincidentally, they're also the two highest-scoring teams in the postseason.

Still, it's a surprise that these two are meeting with the Cup on the line.

That Pittsburgh made it this far is a small miracle. They were a disaster in the first half of the season. Hobbled by a 28th-ranked offense, they got off to a 15-10-3 start that cost coach Mike Johnston his job. They only found their mojo after Mike...

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The Stanley Cup is the nicest looking trophy in sports. What’s not to like about it? It’s big, shiny, and perfectly shaped for consumption of celebratory beverages. It’s also an extremely grueling process to even get a chance to play for it. The argument can be made that it’s the same for any sport, but a 7 game series is the longest in any professional sport, along with basketball. You also have to consider that they have to win four of these series, and that it’s a full contact sport that allows bare knuckle brawling. There’s players that invest so much mentally and physically in the Stanley Cup playoffs, that when they finally get to the big dance and come up a little short, it simply breaks them. Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks is the perfect example of this. He has not even been close to the same player he was back in 2011 when they lost to the Bruins in 7. Kesler is not the only one from that group that is reeling. The Sedin twins’ game has slowly regressed every season...

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Dileas

The Top TenXW

1Blackhawks

Best start in NHL history now, original six, recent cup winner and they are in the greatest city in the world. LETS GO HAWKS!

The blackhawks are the best, they have some of the top 10 best NHL players right now. Anyways They are even better then the penguins and the capitals and the Canadians never mind they are the BEST TEAM EVER!

I love this team but my brother hates them he likes the Boston Bruins. His favorite player is zdeno chara ugh If I could, I'd kill them both

Go Blackhawks woo

V62 Comments 2Canadiens

for sure! The Montreal Canadiens have most of the NHL records, legendary hockey players and the loudest fans.
I went to a game L. A kings vs Montreal in L. A and 3/4 of people were Montreal fans...
2500 miles away from Montreal!

The Habs have been there for 100 years! They have 24 Stanley Cups!...

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The 2014 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League (NHL)'s 2013–14 season, and the culmination of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs. This was the 121st year of the Stanley Cup's presentation. The League realigned its divisions prior to the season, and changed the structure of the playoffs, but the championship series remained the same. The Western Conference champion Los Angeles Kings defeated the Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers four games to one to win their second championship in franchise history, marking the first time since 2007 that the championship series was determined in fewer than six games. Their Stanley Cup–winning run of 26 playoff games was the longest of any Stanley Cup–winning team in history.[1]

Los Angeles had home ice advantage in the series, as the Kings finished with a better regular season record than the Rangers. The series started on June 4 and ended on June 13 with the Kings winning their second Stanley Cup...

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What is a Wild Card team in the NHL?

The NHL is one of the more fluid leagues in their division, conference, and playoff qualification formats.

2013-Present

For the 2013-2014 season, they changed up the divisions and conferences so that there was an East and West conference with 2 divisions.

To qualify for the playoffs you had to be in the top 3 of your division. The wild cards were given to the final two teams with the best records.

1999-2013

For these seasons there were 3 divisions in each conference. Each division sent the division winner to the play offs, wild cards were given to the next 5 teams with the best records

x-1999

There were 2 divisions per conference, top 3 division winners get to the dance, while the next 2 are give wild cards.

Once you are in the playoff's it's a crap shoot.

It doesn't happen often, but occasionally, a low ranked team will pull off the victory:

In 2012, the Kings won with...

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David E. Klutho for Sports Illustrated

The fleet Niedermayer was a remarkably effective offensive blueliner (35 or more points in a season nine times) during an age of clutch-and-grab on a defense-minded team. Despite the Devils’ restrictive system, he was able to shine, winning the Norris Trophy in 2004 and three Stanley Cups (1995, 2000, ’03) before adding another championship with his brother, Rob, with Anaheim while earning the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2007. A winner at every level of hockey at which he played, Niedermayer's mantel also holds gold medals from the Olympics (2002, '10), World Championship ('04), World Cup ('04), and World Junior Championship ('91).

22. Scott Niedermayer

The fleet Niedermayer was a remarkably effective offensive blueliner (35 or more points in a season nine times) during an age of clutch-and-grab on a defense-minded team. Despite the Devils’ restrictive system, he was able to shine, winning the Norris Trophy in 2004 and three...

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Rivalries in the National Hockey League have occurred between many teams and cities. Rivalries have arisen for many different reasons, the primary ones including geographic proximity, familiarity with opponents, on-ice incidents, and cultural, linguistic, or national pride.

The importance of these various factors has varied widely throughout the history of the league.

Early history[edit]

During the earliest days of the NHL, the league was limited strictly to Central Canada, and all cities in the league were in close proximity, making for bitter rivalries all around. In addition, Montreal had two teams representing its English-French divide. The "French" Canadiens battled the "English" Wanderers (and later the Maroons). Rivalries also existed with other leagues, such as the Pacific Coast Hockey Association. It was not until 1926 that the NHL took sole ownership of the Stanley Cup. By that time, the league began expanding into the United States, and new...

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Joe Thornton and Teemu Selanne have spent the best years of their careers playing their wintry sport on the sunny West Coast, so they were both thrilled to learn California has more teams in the upcoming NHL postseason than Canada.

It's no knock on the Great White North. From Silicon Valley to Hollywood to Orange County, hockey in the Golden State has just never been better.

The San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks are headed to the playoffs together for the first time, raising this long-simmering three-way rivalry to a boil.

"This is the first time ever, so it's good for hockey out here, and it's growing," said Thornton, the 2006 NHL MVP who joined the Sharks in 2005. "It's becoming an exciting sport to watch out here."

And it's only going to get more entertaining. After the three clubs played each other four times in the final week of the...

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The 2004–05 NHL lockout was a lockout that resulted in the cancellation of what would have been the 88th season of play of the National Hockey League (NHL).[1] It was the first time the Stanley Cup was not awarded since 1919,[2] and the first time a major professional sports league in North America canceled a complete season because of a labor dispute and the second time after the 1994–1995 MLB strike that the Playoffs of a major professional sports league in North America were cancelled.[3] The lockout lasted 10 months and 6 days starting September 16, 2004, the day after the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the NHL and the NHL Players Association (NHLPA) that resolved the 1994–95 lockout expired. The lockout of the 2004–2005 season resulted in 1,230 unplayed games. The negotiating teams reached an agreement on July 13, 2005, and the lockout officially ended 9 days later on July 22, after both the NHL owners and players ratified the CBA.

The NHL, led by...

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The 1974–75 NHL season was the 58th season of the National Hockey League. Two new teams, the Washington Capitals and Kansas City Scouts were added, increasing the number of teams to 18. To accommodate the new teams, the NHL re-organized its divisional structure and playoff format. The Philadelphia Flyers won the Stanley Cup for the second consecutive year.

League business[edit]

With the addition of two new teams, the Washington Capitals and Kansas City Scouts, the NHL bumped up the number of games from 78 to 80 and split the previously two-division league into four divisions and two conferences. Because the new conferences and divisions had little to do with North American geography, geographical references were also removed until 1993. The East Division became the Prince of Wales Conference and consisted of the Adams Division and Norris Division. The West Division became the Clarence Campbell Conference and consisted of the Patrick Division and Smythe Division....

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Logo for 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs

The 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs of the National Hockey League (NHL) began on April 11, 2012, after the conclusion of the 2011–12 NHL regular season. These playoffs marked only the second time since the 1996 playoffs in which no Canadian teams advanced past the first round. These playoffs featured the return of the Florida Panthers to the postseason for the first time since the 2000 Stanley Cup Playoffs, one of the longest non-playoff droughts in league history.

The 2012 Stanley Cup Finals started on May 30 and ended on June 11, with the Los Angeles Kings defeating the New Jersey Devils in six games to win their first Stanley Cup title. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, having recorded a 1.41 goals against average, was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP. After clinching a postseason spot in their 81st game of the regular season,[1] the Kings became the first eighth seeded team to win the Stanley Cup in NHL history (and...

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The National Hockey League (NHL) undertook a major expansion for the 1967–68 season. Six new franchises were added to double the size of the league, making this expansion the largest (in terms of the number of teams created) ever undertaken at one time by an established major sports league.[citation needed] The expansion marked the first change in the composition of the league since 1942, when the Brooklyn Americans folded, thereby ending the era of the Original Six.

The six new teams were the California Seals, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and the St. Louis Blues. This expansion, including placing two new clubs on the West Coast, was the result of the league's fears of a rival league that would challenge the NHL for players and the Stanley Cup. In addition, the league hoped that the expansion would result in a lucrative TV contract in the United States.

Map of the

Original Six

cities in red, and the 1967...

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Our resident expert has taken a look at a lot of prospects this season and named his top selection for every franchise. Who stood out in 2015-16 (and who came real close)? Check out the master list.

It's about that time, folks. The Memorial Cup field has been set, the AHL is into the conference finals and the NCAA champs were crowned long ago. So which players repped their franchises the best? The following list is made up of the prospects I believe had the best seasons for their parent franchises.

These are not necessarily the most NHL-ready players or the top prospects in the organizational pecking order, but these guys had the most success overall (but yeah, a lot of the top guys are here anyway). Factors include individual stats and growth, plus team success – so don't be surprised to find some North Dakota Fighting Hawks and Brandon Wheat Kings on the list. One more note: any player who is Calder-eligible for the current NHL season does not count – that means no...

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