The 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs open on Wednesday evening, and there are several returning playoff teams whose time to win the Cup is quickly coming to a close. Unless you are a team like Detroit, in the NHL there are windows of opportunity to win the games Holy Grail before time runs out and something has to change.
There are four teams in specific in this years postseason whose windows are almost shut on their current cores to win a cup together. In the West the San Jose Sharks and the Phoenix Coyotes time seems to be rapidly closing on them, and the in the East it is inevitable that big changes are coming in Washington and Philadelphia if things don't turn for the better in this postseason.
There is too much parity in the NHL these days for a team to have a chance for a decade to win a Cup, and eventually changes must be made and choices on the direction of a franchise depend on postseason success.
In the long run, dependent on success this postseason, these four teams could experience an overhaul and be forced to rebuild if they want to find themselves with a Cup in the next decade.