Here’s something a bit unusual for you NHL fans to think about: The “Winter Classic” has been played four years now. Each time, one of the participants wins the Stanley Cup 18 months later.
|Year||Winter Classic Teams||Stanley Cup Winner|
|2008||Pittsburgh @ Buffalo (won by Pittsburgh)||Detroit (irrelevant)|
|2009||Detroit @ Chicago (won by Detroit)||Pittsburgh|
|2010||Philadelphia @ Boston (won by Boston)||Chicago|
|2011||Washington @ Pittsburgh (won by Washington)||Boston|
|2012||New York Rangers @ Philadelphia (won by New York)||?|
|2013||Toronto @ Detroit|
See? If you play in the Winter Classic, you have a 50% chance of winning the Stanley Cup the following year. Poor Vancouver, the deck was stacked against them from the outset.
Based on this amazing phenomenon, I predict that Pittsburgh or Washington will win the Cup in 2012.
But I hope this pattern breaks soon, because Philly is getting too many chances! Having them win the Cup would make a Pens fan like me sick.
But there’s a wrinkle: in 2011 there was also a Heritage Classic played, with Calgary hosting Montreal. It’s possible this could throw a wrench into the works, but in 2003 the first Heritage Classic was played, and neither Edmonton nor Montreal went on to win in 2004, so I don’t think that’s a factor.
[Update: neither Calgary or Montreal made the playoffs in 2012; guess that won’t affect things.]
[Update#2: OK, that’s been blown to bits by NY’s exit at the hands of NJ. Go Kings!]