The 2015 NHL Stanley Cup will begin Wednesday with the Chicago Blackhawks taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Chicago will be making their third finals appearance in the last six years, while the Lightning will be making their first appearance in the final since 2004.
Most die-hard NHL fans know that the six original NHL teams were the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadians, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs. With Chicago’s spot in the finals this year, it marks the third straight year that one of the “Original 6” will play for the Cup, and the seventh time in the last eight years.
In 1967-68, the NHL expanded to 12 teams with the addition of the L.A. Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Oakland Seals, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues. Since that season, covering 46 Stanley Cup Finals (there was no Stanley Cup in 2005 due to a lockout), one of the “Original 6” has won 20 titles. Since 2000, the “Original 6” have won five of the 14 titles.
Here’s a few more stats about the Stanley Cup Finals and the “Original 6” teams:
* The last time two “Original 6” teams played in the finals was 2013 when the Blackhawks and Bruins faced off (Chicago won the series). Prior to that, the last time was in 1979 when Montreal and the New York Rangers played for the championship.
* The last time no “Original 6” were in the finals was in 2012 when the L.A. Kings and New Jersey Devils played for the Cup. It has happened 17 times since 1968.
* Since 2000, eight times at least one of the “Original 6” played for the title (including the two teams in 2013). The other seven times since 2000 none of the “Original 6” made the finals.
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