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The Noon Number: Repeat Feat

A look at a tough challenge ahead for the defending champs

Boston Bruins v Washington Capitals Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

9 - Number of teams to have won the Stanley Cup in consecutive seasons since the NHL expanded from the Original Six in 1967:

So what happens to the teams that don’t repeat?

13 times, the defending champs were knocked out in the first round (most recently in 2015 with the Blackhawks getting bounced by St. Louis). Seven teams made it to the second round before faltering (and the most recent one should be well known by all Caps fans), while six teams lost in the Conference Final and five teams made it back to the Stanley Cup Final.

(Luckily the Caps avoided the fate suffered by the 2015 Kings and five other Cup champs: missing the playoffs altogether.)

It’s interesting to note that as difficult as it appears to be to repeat as Stanley Cup champion, there’s a fairly even split in the levels of success. Of the 50 Stanley Cups handed out between 1967 and 2017, 26 teams were eliminated in the second round or earlier (or failed to make the playoffs at all) - but 24 teams made it to at least the Conference Final, and 14 of those got another shot at Lord Stanley.

The Caps will look to join that second elite group this spring... and the quest begins tomorrow.