The 2018-19 Tampa Bay Lightning can feel better in knowing that they’re not the only historically dominant Presidents’ Trophy winners that unraveled in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Heading into the 2019 playoffs, the Tampa Bay Lightning had the chance to make their case as the greatest NHL team ever assembled, having won the Presidents’ Trophy with 62 wins and 128 points. Instead, the Lightning joined the long list of Presidents’ Trophy winners that failed to win in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They got swept in humiliating fashion by the Columbus Blue Jackets, who won their first playoff series in franchise history.
Everybody knows that it’s the hardest trophy to win in professional sports, but the Lightning were heavily expected to at least reach the Eastern Conference Final, which they had reached in three of the previous four years.
Tampa won’t be in the history books as one of the greatest teams in NHL history. They’ll be remembered for perhaps the greatest choke in league history instead. But, there is a silver lining that Tampa fans can’t forget.
What is that, you might ask? Well, the Lightning are far from the first historically dominant Presidents’ Trophy winners that didn’t win the Stanley Cup. In fact, you might even make a case that there have been other teams who simply choked and disappointed more than the 2018-19 Bolts.
Following the sweep at the hands of the Blue Jackets, the Lightning have placed themselves in the list of all-time great Presidents’ Trophy winners that couldn’t win it all. You won’t be surprised in seeing them on this list, but where do the Bolts stack up against some of the other best teams that couldn’t win it all? Let’s take a look.