Should Bruins Be Worried About Presidents’ Cup ‘Curse?’ Don’t Be Silly

Curses aren't real


Mar 31, 2023

The Bruins have won the NHL’s Presidents’ Trophy as the best regular-season team for the 2022-23 season.

Congratulations … right?

Well, not so fast, if you ask some people. The dreaded Presidents’ Cup “curse” apparently is a thing because there’s not a great history of the NHL’s best regular-season team also being the NHL’s best playoff team. Eight of 36 Presidents’ Trophy winners have won the Stanley Cup, and the majority of recent winners struggled to even get out of the second round.

Most notably, there’s the 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning who won an NHL-record (for now) 62 games and was swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets. (What’s often forgotten about that series is that the Bolts led Game 1 3-0 after the first period before urinating down its leg for the next 11 frames.)

This probably shouldn’t need to be said, but there’s nothing about that Lightning team — or any other Presidents’ Trophy winners — that has anything to do with the 2022-23 Bruins. And if you think, say, the 1992 Rangers have any bearing on this year’s B’s, then you just don’t have the intellectual capability to have the conversation anyway.

But all the curse talk begs the question: In what universe is winning more hockey games than any other team in the NHL a bad thing? The Bruins have not only been the best team all season, but they have also been historically dominant from the opening gun. They are lapping the field. They are winning games and accumulating points at a rate we have seen a handful of times in the sport’s entire history.

And they’re supposed to be worried about a curse?

If the Bruins don’t win the Stanley Cup or are, heaven forbid, eliminated in the first or second round of the playoffs, it won’t be because they won a regular-season trophy. It will be because they ran into a hot goalie or suffered brutal injury luck or just didn’t play up to their capabilities at the absolute worst time of the year. Or it will be because the power play has gone ice cold, the offense generally goes dormant and they start gripping their sticks too hard … kind of like we’ve seen in the last week or so.

In a sport filled with clichés, there might not be one that’s more on the nose than the oft-repeated reminder that there’s no tougher prize to win than the Stanley Cup. The Bruins, despite rewriting their record book, aren’t afforded any major advantages when the playoffs roll around. The postseason begins in mid-April and ends in mid-June. The sport is difficult enough as it is, let alone the ratcheted-up intensity of the sport when everything is on the line.

Not to mention: These are seven-game series played on slippery ice by hulking men with sticks in their hands and blades on their feet chasing around a piece of vulcanized rubber trying to put it in a small net past a super-human athlete wearing couch cushions on his legs and chest. It’s a pretty random sport, honestly.

All of this is not meant to make excuses for the Bruins’ potential failure to finish the job. While it does seem kind of silly to expect any team to win the Stanley Cup, if there was one team that would be disappointed by anything less than a parade, it’s this team. To their credit, they have completely reset the expectations. That would have been the case regardless of whether they won that silly trophy. Quite frankly, to somehow correlate the trophy plus a potential early exit almost absolves them of the blame for not meeting expectations.

No, this is instead a reminder that nothing is guaranteed or a certainty in professional sports. Things happen, as simplistic as that might sound. Winning is hard, man. What happens next month or in May or in June won’t be because the Bruins won a trophy for what they did in October through April.

And if you do believe there’s a “curse” for winning the Presidents’ Trophy, please do enjoy the giant home-intruding rabbit delivering trinkets and sugar-filled snacks next weekend.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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