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Unofficial Stanley Cup Champion 1/4/15

The so-called “Big Four” leagues have something very important that differentiates them from other sports: standings. It is an empirical measure of how much value is assigned to a particular team’s effort. Whether it’s a direct comparison (like measuring “games behind”) such as basketball and baseball, or whether it’s assigning points for particular results such as hockey (and any self-respecting soccer league), results are tracked and compared to determine champions.

What happens when we adopt a system similar to a combat sport such as boxing, mixed martial arts, or wrestling? Where every game played is a chance to defend your title, who is currently the “Unofficial” Stanley Cup champion?

On June 13, 2014, the Los Angeles Kings raised the Stanley Cup, therefore, they began their title defense when the puck officially dropped for the first time on October 8, 2014.

On opening night, the Kings dropped their first game against the San Jose Sharks, making them the unofficial Stanley Cup Champions. The Chart that follows is a track record of who the unofficial champ is. Some rules: overtime and shootout losses do count as losses, and therefore, when a team loses, regardless of when in the game they lose, they relinquish the unofficial title.

Team Date won Date lost Result Length of Reign
Los Angeles Kings June 13, 2014 October 8, 2014 4-0 loss to San Jose Sharks 117 days, 0 successful defenses
San Jose Sharks October 8, 2014 October 16, 2014 4-3 shootout loss to New York Islanders 8 days, 2 successful defenses
New York Islanders October 16, 2014 October 18, 2014 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh Penguins 2 days, 0 successful defenses
Pittsburgh Penguins October 18, 2014 October 22, 2014 5-3 loss to Philadelphia Flyers 4 days, 0 successful defenses
Philadelphia Flyers October 22, 2014 October 30, 2014 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay Lightning 8 days, 2 successful defenses
Tampa Bay Lightning October 30, 2014 November 11, 2014 3-2 shootout loss to Chicago Blackhawks 12 days, 4 successful defenses
Chicago Blackhawks November 11, 2014 November 14, 2014 4-1 loss to Detroit Red Wings 3 days, 0 successful defenses
Detroit Red Wings November 14, 2014 November 16, 2014 4-1 loss to Montreal Canadiens 2 days, 0 successful defenses
Montreal Canadiens November 16, 2014 November 18, 2014 4-0 loss to Pittsburgh Penguins 2 days, 0 successful defenses
Pittsburgh Penguins November 18, 2014 November 21, 2014 5-4 shootout loss to New York Islanders 3 days, 0 successful defenses
New York Islanders November 21, 2014 November 28, 2014 5-2 loss to Washington Capitals 7 days, 3 successful defenses
Washington Capitals November 28, 2014 November 29, 2014 6-2 loss to Toronto Maple Leafs 1 day, 0 successful defenses
Toronto Maple Leafs November 29, 2014 December 4, 2014 5-3 loss to New Jersey Devils 5 days, 1 successful defense
New Jersey Devils December 4, 2014 December 6, 2014 4-1 loss to Washington Capitals 2 days, 0 successful defenses
Washington Capitals December 6, 2014 December 11, 2014 3-2 overtime loss to Columbus Blue Jackets 5 days, 1 successful defense
Columbus Blue Jackets December 11, 2014 December 18, 2014 5-4 overtime loss to Washington Capitals 7 days, 2 successful defenses
Washington Capitals December 18, 2014 December 23, 2014 4-2 loss to New York Rangers 5 days, 2 successful defenses
New York Rangers December 23, 2014 December 29, 2014 3-2 loss to Dallas Stars 6 days, 1 successful defense
Dallas Stars December 29, 2014 Present 2 successful defenses so far

So there you have it. The current unofficial Stanley Cup Champion is the Dallas Stars, though their reign will once again be tested tonight when they face off against the Chicago Blackhawks. As you can see, there was a lengthy period of time in which the unofficial title swung around Eastern Conference teams, so now Western Conference teams may get a shot to pass around the Stanley Cup “belt.” Prior to the start of the playoffs, we will reconvene to do another one of these and see who the unofficial Stanley Cup Champion is going into the playoffs.


Pedro Rengel

Pedro Rengel

Originally hailing from the tropical paradise of Venezuela, I moved to Canada at age 11 for the sole reason of falling in love with hockey as a self-proclaimed Pittsburgh Penguins fan. Now a Canadian citizen, my mad love affair with hockey represents a statistical contribution as opposed to an anomaly. Being able to write this well despite having Spanish as a first language is enough of an anomaly (I'm occasionally biased).
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