With both of last year’s Stanley Cup finalists eliminated, it’s a whole new, not ballgame, a whole puck and stick game. Between the four conference teams remaining, only Tampa Bay has won the Cup (2004) and the Lighting won the East in 2015, with Washington doing so exactly 20 years ago (1998).
In the Western Conference, Vegas being an expansion could have never reached this far and it is beyond comprehension they are even here. The Winnipeg Jets have never gotten this far before, with the earlier version or with this contingent. Winnipeg joined the NHL in 1972 when the league absorbed teams from the WHA and played there until 1996 when they were relocated to Arizona.
This 2.0 version of Winnipeg was born as the Atlanta Thrashers in 1999 and they moved to Winnipeg in 2011.
Vegas and Winnipeg perfectly exemplify how hockey is played in the NHL today.