What Qualities Do Stanley Cup Champions Possess?

NHL Stanley Cup

At the start of every NHL season, every team sets out to win the Stanley Cup, hoping they have the right pieces in place to win a championship. But what does a championship team look like? What traits and qualities do NHL teams need to win the Stanley Cup? Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer to this question. However, we took a deep dive into the Stanley Cup champions in recent years in search of trends and qualities that most or all of them seemed to possess. Here are some of the qualities we found that Stanley Cup champions tend to possess.

Elite Scorers

This one is probably obvious, but it needs to be said. Championship teams need a star player who can score goals at a high level. Virtually every Stanley Cup winner has a player who finishes the season among the top 10 goal scorers in the league. It’s even better to have multiple top-10 scorers or a player among the leading three or five goal scorers. In the playoffs, the biggest stars tend to shine, so championship winners need the type of scoring threat who can carry a team at times during the long playoff run.

Big and Physical

While talented skaters and goal scorers are a necessity, don’t overlook the importance of shear strength. Teams that are bigger and more physical than others tend to survive later in the playoffs They can handle the grind of the postseason better and beat teams up night after night, helping them survive a seven-game series. Referees tend to let a little more go during the playoffs, which also gives physical teams an edge. In fact, just being bigger helps, as many of the recent Stanley Cup champs have been among the top teams in player weight.


Strong Penalty Kill Unit

The correlation between a great power-play unit and playoff success isn’t as strong as you might think. Instead, it’s the teams that can kill off a power play that tend to be championship contenders. With a strong penalty kill unit, teams can make up for their mistakes. They can also force their opponents to score at full strength, which adds a layer of difficulty for opposing teams, helping increase the chances that a team with a top-ranked penalty kill will advance.

Goalie Who Can Handle Big Moments

It goes without saying that good goaltending can carry a team in the Stanley Cup playoffs. But that doesn’t mean teams need a top-10 goalie, although that obviously helps. It’s more important for championship contenders to have a goalie that’s mentally tough, which can matter just as much as talent in the playoffs. Winning a Stanley Cup means having a goalie who’s capable of handling the pressure and won’t fold when the lights get bright. It’s that type of goalie who tends to get hot during the playoffs and carry his team deep into the postseason.


Championship Experience

Some argue that it’s a myth that playoff experience is needed to win a Stanley Cup. In fairness, it’s not the most important factor. However, there is at least some correlation between teams with Stanley Cup winners on their roster and postseason success. The NHL playoffs are such a grind – both physically and mentally – that it’s hard to survive for long without players who have been there before and know what it’s like to play those types of games. Of course, it can help to have players who are hungry to win their first championship. But there’s no doubt that teams are always better off with players who have won the Stanley Cup previously leading the way.

Depth and Diversity

As mentioned, star players who can score goals at a high volume are essential for winning a championship. But that doesn’t mean you should overlook a team’s depth. Stanley Cup winners need a long list of contributors helping out along the way. To be more specific, it’s not just depth but roster versatility. That means players who are capable of doing different things and filling different roles. This is what creates a well-balanced roster that’s capable of winning the Stanley Cup.

If you think you have a hunch about who will win this year’s Stanley Cup, it’s possible to place a bet on the team you like. There are several NHL betting sites that have betting markets for the Stanley Cup, as well as individual games. Feel free to consider the various features and odds offered by several sites before picking one.

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