With the Stanley Cup final between the expansion Golden Vegas Knights and the Washington Capitals set to begin on Monday, May 28th
until Wednesday. June 13th
at the latest, now is a great time to check out some fun and interesting facts about the series.
* The only previous final series between two clubs that had never won a Stanley Cup final playoff game before was between the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers in 1995/96.
* The last club to win a Stanley Cup in their first ever final series was the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2003/04.
* If Vegas wins the cup, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury would be the first player to win it in three consecutive seasons since members of the New York Islanders achieved the feat between 1981 and 1983.
* If Washington wins the cup they will be just the seventh team in history to lose the first two games of the playoffs and win the trophy.
* Las Vegas has never won a professional championship, simply because the city has never had a franchise before. Washington hasn’t celebrated a victory since 1992 when the Washington Redskins won the Super Bowl. The Washington Bullets last won the NBA title for the city in 1977/78 and the city hasn’t won an MLB crown since 1924.
* Capitals’ goaltender Braden Holtby is just the third goalie in history to win game six and seven of a semifinals series by shutout. The other goalies to achieve it were Dominik Hasek in 2002 and Harry Lumley in 1950. Both of those goalies went on to win the Stanley Cup those seasons.
* Lars Eller of Washington is hoping to become the first Danish-born player to win a Stanley Cup. Meanwhile, Pierre Edouard Bellemare of Vegas is hoping to become just the second French-born player to hoist the trophy after Cristobal Huet won the cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2009/10. In addition, if Nathan Walker of Washington plays in the series against Vegas he’ll become just the first
Australian-born player to play in the final since 1915/16.
* Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin is the only NHL player to have won the Hart Trophy more than once as the league’s most valuable player and never win a Stanley Cup.
* The only player to score more goals during his career before finally playing in a Stanley Cup final was Hall of Famer Dave Andreychuk who had 634. Andreychuk then captained the Tampa Bay Lightning to the trophy in his first final appearance in 2003/04.Ovechkin entered this year’s playoffs with 607 regular-season goals to his name.
* Teams playing in their first ever Stanley Cup final such as Vegas, have gone 10-17 in the series. Teams which are playing in the final for the second time and have never won the cup, such as Washington, have gone 8-4. The Capitals were swept in four games by the Detroit Red Wings in their one and only final appearance in 1997/98.
* If Vegas wins the cup, head coach Gerard Gallant would be the seventh coach in history to win the CHL’s Memorial Cup and a Stanley Cup.
* If Washington wins the cup, head coach Barry Trotz would become the seventh coach to win both the AHL’s Calder Cup and the Stanley Cup.
* The last NHL franchise to win the Stanley Cup for the first time in its history was the Los Angeles Kings in 2011/12.
* If Vegas wins the cup they’ll be just the third team ever to capture the trophy without a captain. The Boston Bruins didn’t have a captain either when they won the cup in 1969/70 and 1970/71.