After a long and strenuous journey, the Capitals finally broke through, got over the hump, and won the Stanley Cup last season. Years and years of regular season success and division titles had ended in crushing defeats to rivals like the Penguins and Rangers. However, last year they rewrote all the narratives and exercised the demons with a second-round victory over the Penguins, and from there wouldn’t be denied their chance to lift Lord Stanley’s Cup. Now, hot off their fourth straight division crown, they look to defend their title.
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes ended the longest playoff drought in the NHL this season, surging their way up the standings with a spectacular second half of the season. With markedly improved goaltending, a solid blue line, and some good young talent up front, the Canes are looking to once again embark on a deep playoff run and win their first Cup since 2006.