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Hockey is a great sport. The speed and skill is unlike any other sport. And if you are a big fan of this sport, you must know the National Hockey League (NHL).
The NHL has had many great teams since its inception. Some of these teams were so great that they went on to win one of the most difficult trophies in all of sports, the Stanley Cup.
You probably also love to argue about who the best teams are. Who has the best defense? Who has the best offense? Which team is most likely to win the Stanley Cup? For example, if you’re a fan of some team other than the Boston Bruins, here is a list of the 7 best teams of all time.
The New York Rangers are a professional ice hockey team based in New York City. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The club is also one of the oldest teams in the NHL, having joined in 1926 as an expansion franchise.
The team has won the Stanley Cup, the NHL’s championship trophy, four times (1928, 1933, 1940, and 1994).
Rangers won their first Stanley Cup title in 1928, making them the first US-based NHL franchise to win the Cup.
After missing the knockout stages in the 1992–93 season, the Rangers accumulated 112 points in the 1993–94 season and won their second Stanley Cup.
With a seven-game win over the Vancouver Canucks in the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals, the Rangers ended a 54-year Stanley Cup drought.
The Rangers subsequently embraced a rebuild for much of the 1980s and early 1990s, which eventually paid dividends in 1994, where the team, led by Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, Adam Graves and Mike Richter, captured their fourth Stanley Cup.
In the most recent season, 2020–21, Rangers finished 5th in the East with 60 points and failed to reach the 2021 knockout stages.
The Washington Capitals (colloquially known as the Caps) are a professional ice hockey team based in Washington, D.C. The team competes in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference, and is owned by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, headed by Ted Leonsis.
The Capitals has won two Eastern Conference championships (1998, 2018) and one Stanley Cup (2018).
In 2018, the Capitals defeated the Vegas Golden Knights four games to one in the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals, capturing the first championship in franchise history. The Capitals overcame a 3–2 series deficit against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs to advance to their first conference finals since 1998. Washington won their second straight Metropolitan Division title and finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference.
In the playoffs, they eliminated the Columbus Blue Jackets after overcoming a 2–0 series deficit, and defeated Pittsburgh in six games before advancing to their first Stanley Cup Final in 20 years.
The Montreal Canadiens are a team with a lot of history. In fact, they have more Stanley Cup championships than any other franchise in the NHL.
Established on December 4, 1909, the Canadiens are one of the oldest professional sports franchises in North America. They played their first game on January 5, 1910, and went on to win their first Stanley Cup in 1916. Since then they have gone on to win 24 more Stanley Cups, including 10 during the 1970s alone.
The Canadiens have had many great players throughout their history. One of the most notable players was Maurice “Rocket” Richard who helped lead them to eight Stanley Cups during his career. He was also one of the first players to reach 500 goals in his career, which is an achievement that many players still aspire to today.
In recent years the Canadiens have struggled with finding success. They haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1993 and haven’t made it past the second round of the playoffs since 2010. The team has been rebuilding since then with hopes of one day making another Cup run.
The Vegas Golden Knights are a professional ice hockey team based in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL).
Founded in 2017 as an expansion team, the Golden Knights are the first major sports franchise to represent Las Vegas. The team is owned by Black Knight Sports & Entertainment, a consortium led by Bill Foley and the Maloof family.Their home games are played at T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada.
The Golden Knights’ inaugural season was one of great success on many fronts. Despite only being formed less than 5 months before their first game and having never previously signed or traded for any player to be on their roster, they finished with over 100 points as well as winning their division.
One of the few expansion franchises to experience immediate success, the Golden Knights have qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs in all four of their seasons and reached the Stanley Cup Finals in their first. Their 13 playoff wins en route to the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals are the most for a team during their inaugural postseason run.
The Dallas Stars are a professional ice hockey team based in Dallas. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Central Division in the Western Conference, and were founded during the 1967 NHL expansion, based in Bloomington, Minnesota.
The Stars have won eight division titles in Dallas, two Presidents’ Trophies as the top regular-season team in the league, the Western Conference championship three times, and the Stanley Cup in 1998–99. Joe Nieuwendyk won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs that year.
The franchise has appeared in the Stanley Cup finals five times (1981, 1991, 1999, 2000, and 2020) and has won one championship (1999).
Tampa Bay Lightning, American professional ice hockey team based in Tampa, Florida, that plays in the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2004, 2020, and 2021.
The Lightning have one Stanley Cup Championship under their belt, which came during the 2003-04 season. The team plays its home games at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.
Tampa Bay instead fell victim to one of the biggest upsets in North American sports history, getting swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets, a franchise that had never won an NHL postseason series in its 18 years of existence. Tampa Bay rebounded from that postseason disappointment the following season, losing just six total games across four playoff series to capture the second Stanley Cup title in franchise history.
The team returned to the postseason following the 2020–21 season, which—because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic—was played with four temporary divisions whose teams only played each other during the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs. Tampa Bay advanced from the divisional playoffs and then defeated the New York Islanders in a close seven-game series to play in the Stanley Cup finals. There the Lightning easily dispatched the Montreal Canadiens to capture their second straight Stanley Cup.
The St. Louis Blues are a professional ice hockey team based in St. Louis. The Blues compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Central Division in the Western Conference. The franchise was founded in 1967 as one of the six teams from the 1967 NHL expansion and is named after the W. C. Handy song “Saint Louis Blues”.
The Blues have appeared in four Stanley Cup finals (1968–70 and 2019) and have won one championship (2019).
Louis had the worst record in the NHL, but the team rallied behind interim head coach Craig Berube, a staunch defense, and stellar play from rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington to finish the season in second place in their division. The team then won three closely contested postseason series, none of which lasted fewer than six games, to reach the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 49 years. There the Blues won a seven-game series against the Boston Bruins to capture the first championship in franchise history.