Amazing Hockey Fact

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!]

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