Even before they won their respective conference championships, the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils were the logical picks to go to last year’s Stanley Cup Finals. Those who tactically assessed the two matchups and those who swore by historical omens could have agreed on that front.
The Devils were not only better rested than the New York Rangers and the Kings were not only riding a more powerful gust of momentum than the Phoenix Coyotes, but New Jersey had eliminated Philadelphia from the opening round and the Kings had dislodged the Vancouver Canucks in the first round.
Since 2007, the Flyers and Canucks have tended to see the team that knocks them out of the playoffs go on to the final round. Pittsburgh did it on the Eastern front in both 2008 and 2009, as did Boston in 2011, while Anaheim and Chicago did it out West in 2007 and 2010, respectively.
Going back to the final season before the lockout, Tampa Bay and Calgary met to settle the 2004 championship after a trek that included a victimization of Philadelphia and Vancouver, respectively.
Entering the 2012 tournament, that was four out of six intra-conference Flyers grounders and three out of four Canucks conquerors proceeding to the final frontier. The Devils and Kings happened to make it five out of seven and four out of five.
Entering the next NHL season, there is at least one similar good omen to be had for all 30 franchises. If nothing else, a fanbase can have fun with them and keep them in handy for whenever a morale boost is in order.