The NHL's Most Dangerous Playoff Teams
The Stanley Cup.
It's quite possibly one of the most difficult trophies in the world to win.
To win it, you need an unbreakable team dynamic, a goalie you can trust, and a certain degree of luck.
Being hot heading into the Stanley Cup playoffs can help as well.
So amongst Bleacher Report's NHL writers, we asked the question: Who is the most dangerous team heading in to the NHL Playoffs?
5. The San Jose Sharks
This is a team that has had at least 100 points in four of the last five seasons (five of six if you include this year), but has only made the Conference Finals once in that time.
Since then they've been knocked out in the first round (2009), have yet to see a game seven in round two, and 240 regular season wins compared to just 28 playoff wins.
Not exactly a glowing track record.
Many are thinking that this is the Sharks' year, however. Dany Heatley has given them a third All-Star forward, solid depth up front, and a solid blue line with some experience (Nic Wallin, Rob Blake, and Dan Boyle).
So maybe the Sharks are poised to strike (or bite) in the playoffs.
There's a first time for everything right?
4. The Chicago Blackhawks
The team that has taken the NHL by storm may be too good to ignore these playoffs.
In making the playoffs for just the second time in the past 11 seasons last year, the 'Hawks turned heads.
They took down the perennially disappointing Flames, the "Best Goalie in the NHL" in Roberto Luongo, and even showed some spunk against the Red Wings, taking them to overtime three times in the Western Conference Finals last year.
Now, depending on how the playoffs shake out, Chicago should have a far easier path the walk, buoyed by their never-ending offense and the surprise that is Antti Niemi.
3. The Phoenix Coyotes
No expectations for the regular season equals no expectations for the playoffs.
No expectations means that the "nobody believes in us" syndrome is sweeping through Phoenix.
A team that no one believes in is quite possibly the most dangerous.
You shouldn't need someone to tell you that Ilya Bryzgalov is a shoo-in for Vezina consideration and possibly an MVP nod. Or that Dave Tippett had the Jack Adams award locked up for just taking what appeared to be a dead-end job.
Then there's the fact that Lee Stempniak likes warm climates, Shane Doan doesn't know when he'll get back to the playoffs, and the fact that I once did that celebrity look-alike test on Ed Jovanovski and it told me he looked like Val Kilmer.
Don't bet against a team with Batman on it.
2. The Washington Capitals
The Caps feature the highest-grossing offensive defenseman in the league (points-wise) in Mike Green and the most dangerous player in Alexander Ovechkin.
He'll either score, or kill you trying. Ask Brian Campbell.
Then again, Green can kill people trying to score, too. Ask Patrick Thoresen's groin.
Aside from the goaltending questions, the fact that the Capitals are going to be the only team to score 300 goals this season is a good reason to think of them as dangerous.
Then you can consider the fact that they locked the division up in November and the President's Trophy in February.
If you overlook that pesky President's trophy curse, then you've got a pretty good horse to ride through the playoffs.
If curses are your thing, then you may as well go with Boston, the New York Rangers, or Philadelphia.
1. The Detroit Red Wings
Let's see: A yearly Stanley Cup contender felled by injuries for a majority of the season getting healthy at the right time?
If that doesn't work for you, how about a team that's 7-1-2 in their last 10?
How about a team that lost just one regulation game in March, and haven't lost a road game (excluding a shootout loss against Edmonton) since Feb. 8?
Tough to argue.
Point is, the Red Wings aren't your typical No. 6-seed. They've gone from people telling them that "this is the end of an era" to the popular playoff sleeper.
Something tells me a lot of people will be "conveniently" forgetting some things they said in November and December if something special happens with this team.