Which Teams Dominated the NHL Throughout the 2010s?
Wed, Jan 18, 2023
The 2022/23 NHL season has reached its midway point, and so far there have been talking points plenty. The Tempa Bay Lightning have reached the Stanley Cup finals in each of the last three seasons, lifting the trophy twice. Last season however, their most recent voyage to the championship series ended in heartbreak as they were defeated by the Colorado Avalanche, who won the crown for the first time in over two decades.
This season, the Lightning are attempting to become the first team since the New York Islanders in the early 1980s to reach four consecutive Stanley Cup Finals. So far, they are well positioned in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division, sitting in third place in the standings with 28 wins and 14 losses.
The runaway leaders of that division are the Boston Bruins. The Massachusetts outfit currently sits at the division’s summit with 34 wins, including seven victories in their last ten outings. As such, it's no surprise that online bookmakers such as Bodog have slashed the Bruins’ odds to win Stanley Cup 2023, making them the outright favorites for glory, ahead of the reigning champion Avalanche and the Vegas Golden Knights.
Elsewhere, some of the league's biggest names are struggling so far this term. The Montreal Canadiens are the most successful franchise in NHL history and were beaten finalists in the Stanley Cup finals just two years ago. This term, however, they currently sit at rock bottom of the Atlantic Division, with just 18 wins to their name.
One of the stars of the last decade is currently enduring an even worse time of it thus far, however. The Chicago Blackhawks lifted three championships during the 2010s however, they are the whipping boys in 2022/23 NHL season. They have 11 wins and a mammoth 30 losses so far this term.
So for any Blackhawks fans reading, let's take a look back at happier times. The Stanley Cup is the most prestigious prize in professional hockey, and over the years, numerous teams have lifted the cup in triumph. From 2010 to 2020, five teams emerged victorious over the course of the past decade to become Stanley Cup Champions.
The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, defeating the Philadelphia Flyers in six games. The Blackhawks had an impressive run throughout the playoffs, earning an impressive 52-30 record on their way to the championship. Chicago was led by Patrick Kane, who scored four goals during the finals, and goaltender Antti Niemi, who posted three shutouts in the series.
in 2013, the Chicago Blackhawks won their second Stanley Cup in four seasons. This time, the Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins in six games. The Blackhawks were led by captain Jonathan Toews and goaltender Corey Crawford, who both had an impressive postseason run.
The Illinois outfit picked up their third Stanley Cup in six seasons in 2015, defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games. Patrick Kane was once again the star of the show and named the series MVP, after scoring the game-winning goal in double overtime of Game 6. The Blackhawks had yet another impressive playoffs run, going 16-15 en route to the championship.
In 2011, the Boston Bruins brought the Stanley Cup home for the first time in 39 years. The Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks in seven nailbiting games, with goaltender Tim Thomas being named the series MVP. The Bruins had an impressive postseason run, going 16-9 in the playoffs. This season, the Bruins are aiming to lift the championship for the first time since that glorious success 12 years ago.
The Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup in 2014, defeating the New York Rangers in five games. The Kings had a dominant postseason, going 16-4 on their way to the championship. Jonathan Quick was named the series MVP, after posting three shutouts in the finals.
2015 and 2016 were the years of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Just as they did in 2008 and 2009, the Penguins reached back-to-back Stanley Cup finals however, on that occasion, they could only manage one victory from the two appearances. They endured no such troubles seven years on.
The Pennsylvania-based side first knocked off the San Jose Sharks in six, before going all the way again the following season, eventually defeating the Nashville Predators in the championship series by the same scoreline. With the back-to-back victories, the Penguins became the first franchise since the Detroit Red Wings some two years prior to successfully retaining the Stanley Cup.
In 2018, the Stanley Cup finally made its way to the capital of the United States for the first time in the history of the Washington Capitals franchise. They reached the championship series exactly 20 years prior however, in 1998 they were thumped 4-0 by the aforementioned Red Wings.
Two decades on, they made no such mistakes. Russian superstar and captain Alexander Ovechkin was the star of the show. He won the MVP award as his capitals defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in five.
The final Stanley Cup Champions of the 2010s are the St. Louis Blues. The Blues defeated the Boston Bruins in seven games in 2019 in a pulsating seven-game series that swang one way then the other. Ryan O'Reilly was named the series MVP, leading the Blues with 23 points in 26 playoff games.