Ottawa became the latest casualty in a list of 18 teams. Not because Daniel Alfredsson touched the Prince of Wales trophy. That probably didn't help their cause, as it pissed off the Hockey gods. No. It wasn't that transgression that cost the Sens the Cup. It wasn't anything that happened on or off the ice.
Before I proceed, I should be careful to say that Anaheim was outstanding, and they absolutely deserved to win the Cup. They were one of the best teams all season long, and they were phenomenal all throughout the playoffs, mowing down each opponent in five games.
That said, it wasn't the Ducks' supremacy that made Ottawa lose the Cup.
It was destiny. It was part of the hockey gods' joke that they've been playing since 1989. Starting that year with the Montréal Canadiens, there have now been 18 consecutive DIFFERENT Cup runners-up.
I've mentioned this a number of times before, and I used this phenomena to correctly predict this outcome before the Conference Finals even occurred.
Here are the 18 different consecutive runners-up
- 1989 Montréal Canadiens
- 1990 Boston Bruins
- 1991 Minnesota NorthStars
- 1992 Chicago Blackhawks
- 1993 Los Angeles Kings
- 1994 Vancouver Canucks
- 1995 Detroit Red Wings
- 1996 Florida Panthers
- 1997 Philadelphia Flyers
- 1998 Washington Capitals
- 1999 Buffalo Sabres
- 2000 Dallas Stars
- 2001 New Jersey Devils
- 2002 Carolina Hurricanes
- 2003 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
- 2004 Calgary Flames
2005 (no Cup)
- 2006 Edmonton Oilers
- 2007 Ottawa Senators
If you're smart, you'll also take note of the other fun game that the hockey gods are playing. It works like this: A Cup winner is determined by who was the runner-up four years previous.
Carolina was runner-up in 2002, and was the winner in 2006
Anaheim was runner-up in 2003 and was the winner in 2007
Cal-Gary was runner-up in 2004, and will be the winner in 2008. The game will either end there, or Cal-Gary will be allowed to repeat in 2009.
Edmonton was the runner-up in 2006, and will win the Cup in 2010.
Ottawa was runner-up this season, and will win in 2011.
Since Calgary is obviously going to win the Cup in '08, you should bet $20 now. Go ahead.
The runner-up (who will then become the 2012 winner can only be one of the following six Eastern Conference teams: Rangers, Penguins, Islanders, Thrashers, Lightning, Maple Leafs. My guess is that it'll be the Penguins.
Calgary, plan your 2008 parade route now. Calgary fans, start saving up for playoffs tickets. Gamblers, throw down a $20 or $50 bet right now. It's as safe as could be. Screw it. Bet a couple grand. It's a can't lose bet.
Pittsburgh fans, prepare yourselves for heartbreak.
Seriously, though, congrats go to the Ducks. Good for Teemu Selanne. Good for the Niedermayers. Chrissy Pronger can suck it, but good for the rest of the guys.
Earl Sleek and Christy Finn will see more traffic to their blogs today than they have ever seen. And they deserve it.
Last June 19, I had about quadruple my normal traffic after game seven.
Take care of the Cup, Ducks fans. We miss it already.