These Were The Best Teams of the 2008-2009 NHL Season

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If the 2008-09 NHL season showed us anything, it showed us that the San Jose Sharks are truly just a regular season team. The Sharks won the Presidents’ Trophy for having the most points with 117 and the best record in the league. All the Sharks did was make their usual early exit in the playoffs, this time to the eight seeded Anaheim Ducks in six games in the first round.
Oh yeah, by the way, the team that actually took home Lord Stanley’s Cup was the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was the first time the Penguins won the cup since the Super Mario Lemieux era where he led the franchise to two in a row in the early 1991 and 1992. The fourth seeded team out of the Eastern Conference defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, Carolina Hurricanes and Detroit Red Wings in the finals for the cup.

Even better news for American hockey fans. For the 16th straight year, a team from Canada did not win the Stanley Cup. The Montreal Canadiens (the last team to win the cup) and Calgary Flames both went down in flames in the first round. The Vancouver Canucks, which won the Northeast Division reached the second round and were sent to the golf course early by the Chicago Blackhawks in six games. Here are the Top 5 NHL Teams for the 2008-2009 season.

5 Chicago Blackhawks (46-24-12) 104 Points

The Blackhawks went out in the second round to the Red Wings in five games. But the third seeded team from the West weren’t kidding around when they and their fans said, “you just wait until next year!”

4 Washington Capitals (50-24-8) 108 Points

The Caps had the season’s Hart Memorial Trophy winner as the league’s Most Valuable Player for the second straight year, and goals leader in Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin scored 56 goals, had 54 assists for 110 points overall. If Washington had anyone else scoring this would have been an even better team.The Capitals lost in a wild seven game series in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in a battle of superstars in Ovechkin vs. Crosby/Malkin of the Penguins.

3 Boston Bruins (53-19-10) 116 Points

The Bruins were the Northeast Division champion and top seeded team in the east. Unlike the Sharks in the west, the Bruins at least waited until the Eastern Conference semifinals to be eliminated as they were ousted by the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games.Come on Bruins! You are one of the NHL’s original six and you were ousted by some upstart team from the South of all places? Tim Thomas won the Venzina Trophy as the league’s best goalie with a record 36-11-7 with a 2.10 Goals Against Average.

2 Detroit Red Wings (51-21-10) 112 Points

The Red Wings aren’t called Red for nothing. You see how many commies have been on this team over the years? The Central Division championshave been a dynasty and truly one of the best and most feared teams of this era. The Red Wings were heavily favored to bring another title to Hockeytown, but the birds from Steeltown stole their thunder and won it all. That’s what I’m saying! USA! USA! USA! Wait a minute. Detroit is in the USA too. Who would have thought?

1 Pittsburgh Penguins (45-28-9) 99 Points

The Penguins upset the always dangerous Detroit Red Wings in seven really decent games for Lord Stanley’s Cup. Sidney Crosby finally won the cup in his fourth year in the league ending a horrible drought. But the All-Star wasn’t even the best player on this team. That honor went to center EvgeniMalkin, who led the league in assists with 78, and was the overall points leader with 113. And Crosby?The poor bastard. You would have thought he was LeBron James or someone. At least he didn’t guarantee that he and the Penguins would win another six championships.

San Jose Sharks (53-18-11) 117 Points
The Sharks did have the best record in the league after all. Too bad they never know what to do with it in the playoffs. They are a lower seeded team’s dream!

Carolina Hurricanes (45-30-7) 97 Points
Hardly anyone noticed the Hurricanes during the season and the playoffs, except for the fans and teams they were beating. They reached the Eastern Conference Finals where the Penguins sent this Cinderella team home packing in a humbling four game sweep.

Anaheim Ducks (42-33-7) 91 Points
The Ducks snuck into the playoffs and showed everyone that they were still Mighty by knocking out the top-seeded Sharks in six games. The Ducks weren’t done and came with a goal of shocking the world and nearly defeated the Red Wings in Detroit4-3 in a fantastic seven game series.

Kevin Hunter is a freelance journalist and public relations consultant who lives in Long Beach, CA. With more than 25 years of experience as a sports and features writer, Hunter has written for numerous publications such as the Los Angeles Time, and Orange County Register and L.A. Weekly.

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