The NHL has existed since 1917 and has certainly entertained the masses for generations. A lot of fans have watched various dream teams form over the course of the NHL’s lengthy history. When fate comes into play and some of the best players in the league get on the same team, some fans think they will surely have the upper hand throughout the season.
That very team that was predicted to take most the wins in the league may have fell short of the hype. Getting a solid lineup of talented players is one thing, but you must also possess superior coaching and healthy athletes when you’re up against all odds in the NHL.
The dream team that they assembled looked sharp and agile but didn’t meet the expectations of the fans. The chemistry might have been off or maybe their schedule was too difficult for their roster. Whatever the reason, there have been countless dream teams that have banded together to give their attempt at the championship. The odds looked in their favor at the beginning of the season, but quickly turned as the season progressed.
Here is a list of 15 dream teams that ended up being nightmares.
15. New York Rangers (2014-2015 season)
The New York Rangers have been notoriously robbed during the playoffs by underdog teams. That is no secret, they have appeared in the playoffs every year since 2011. Although, they have been coming short for the Stanley Cup, they certainly know how to form a solid team of ideal players.
The Rangers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs. Soon after, they sent the Washington Capitals home packing. Two of the best teams in the league they beat, most NHL fans were expecting the Rangers to get the Stanley Cup. However, the Rangers couldn’t hold their own in the conference finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lighting excelled past the Rangers in the fiery series and won it 4-3. The Rangers unexpectedly fell apart during the most important and crucial game, leaving most of the fans shocked.
14. Tampa Bay Lightning ( 2014-2015 season)
The Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2004, but that wasn’t the only time they had an all-star team on the ice. During the 2014-2015 season, the Lightning had one of the best lineups in the league. They had Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat. Stamkos had 43 goals and 29 assists that season, certainly an impressive stat. But, Johnson was the one with 29 goals and 43 assists, which I think is more mind-blowing.
The Lightning placed second in the Atlantic division and were hungry for that second Stanley Cup to add to their collection. They managed to defeat the Detroit Red Wings in the first-round of the playoffs, then took care of the Montreal Canadiens in the second-round. The Lightning were charged up after those two wins and eliminated the New York Rangers in the conference finals. They had to go up against the Chicago Blackhawks, but fell short and lost the series 4-2.
13. Los Angeles Kings (2012-2013 season)
The Los Angeles Kings were the underdogs the previous season, but had one of the biggest upsets during the Stanley Cup finals versing the New Jersey Devils. The Kings were trying to do a repeat this season by going 27-16-5 and acquired second-place in the Pacific division. They didn’t have a lot of scoring power on their team, but had excellent team chemistry to surpass their rivals.
The Kings’ dream team roster consisted of Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Justin Williams and Mike Richards. The team’s highest scorer was Carter, who had 26 goals and seven assists. He was the only teammate to get over 20 goals, which is surprising for a team that just won the Stanley Cup and almost won it again. The Kings eliminated the St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks in the playoffs, creating a spot for them in the conference finals. Except, they had to get by the Chicago Blackhawks to get to the Stanley Cup finals. The Kings didn’t stand a chance against the Blackhawks and lost the series 4-1.
12. Pittsburgh Penguins (2012-2013 season)
The mighty 2012-2013 Penguins took form and couldn’t be stopped by most of the teams in the NHL. Their elite team consisted of Chris Kunitz, James Neal, Sidney Crosby and Pascal Dupuis. Each player brought a unique ability to the Penguins that gave them their edge of the opponent. Crosby during the regular season had 41 assists, for example. Sure, he didn’t get the most goals on the team that season, but he was all about setting up his teammates with the perfect shot.
The Penguins had a record of 36-12-0 and placed first in the Atlantic division that season. During the playoffs, they defeated the New York Islanders first and won the series 4-2. In the semi-finals, they had to go up against the Ottawa Senators. But, they were no match for the Penguins, clearing the way to the conference finals. The Penguins unexpected downfall was caused by the Boston Bruins, defeating them in a painful four game series blow out.
11. Washington Capitals (2010-2011 season)
The Capitals had assembled a dream team for the 2010-2011 season by having Alex Ovechkin, veteran Mike Knuble, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin. Ovechkin was on fire that season with 32 goals and 53 assists. The Capitals had a record of 48-23-11 and finished first in the Southeast division.
The Capitals defeated the New York Rangers in the conference quarter-finals with ease by winning the series, 4-1. With that momentum, their fans truly thought no one could stand in their way. The Capitals were paired up against the Tampa Bay Lightning, who had a record of 46-25-11. The Lightning, being the underdogs, were expected to fold against the Capitals’ star players. However, unexpectedly, the Lightning won the semi-finals by shutting them out in the series, 4-0.