This is the second part of a two part series. Yesterday, I tackled teams with the city name starting with A-M. Today, I am going to focus on the remaining teams in the league.
Nashville Predators: “Heartbreaker” by Pat Benatar
53-18-11, 1st in the Central Division, 1st in the Western Conference, made the playoffs
Winning the President Trophy for scoring the most points in the NHL must be a curse. The Predators won the President Trophy this season by earning 117 points. The last two years before that, the Washington Capitals won the President Trophy both years. In these past three seasons, the President Trophy winning team all lost in heartbreaking fashion in the second round. I don’t think any team wants to win the President Trophy next season and risk facing a heartbreaking second round playoff exit. Heartbreaker perfectly defines the Preds’ season.
New Jersey Devils: “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Daryl Hall and John Oates
44-29-9, 5th in the Metropolitan Division, 8th in the Eastern Conference, made the playoffs
I love making myself laugh, and there is no better example than this particular selection for the New Jersey Devils. Now hear me out before you comment with the song you think better represents the season the Devils had, because I am getting ready to blow your mind. The New Jersey Devils rebounded nicely after finishing last in the Eastern Conference last season, to making the playoffs this season. This surprising turnaround, amidst a rebuild, was led by a good young core. That core includes 2018 Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall. The 26-year-old won the award for being the league’s MVP. Hall had 93 points (39 goals, 54 assists) for the Devils. Taylor Hall helped make the Devils dreams come true, and what song better represents that than a song by another Hall. Go ahead and try to convince me there is a better song to describe the season for the Devils. I’ll wait.
New York Islanders: “Destroy and Rebuild” by Nas
35-37-10, 7th in the Metropolitan Division, 11th in the Eastern Conference, missed the playoffs
The Islanders missed the playoffs this year. They fired their coach and GM. They destroyed their coaching staff and management, They hired the legendary Lou Lamoriello as their GM. Then they were able to snag the fifth winningest coach of all time, Barry Trotz, who by the way just won the Stanley Cup with the Caps. They are in full rebuild mode, which took a hit when they lost John Tavares in free agency to the Toronto Maple Leafs. That sets the rebuild back a little bit, but they have the right people to make the Islanders playoff contenders.
New York Rangers: “Things Done Changed” by The Notorious B.I.G.
34-39-9, 8th in the Metropolitan Division, 12th in the Eastern Conference, missed the playoffs
It was a terrible season for the New York Rangers and not much more needs to be said. They went from 102 points last season to just 77 this year, a 25 point difference. Things have certainly changed for the Rangers, who are so used to qualifying for the playoffs, but missed them this season for the first time since 2009-10.
Ottawa Senators: “Running on Empty” by Jackson Browne
28-43-11, 7th in the Atlantic Conference, 15th in the Eastern Conference, missed the playoffs
Ottawa seemed to be running on empty for a majority of the season. Just going through the motions and not playing good hockey. Ottawa finished second in the Atlantic last season with 98 points, but notched only 67 this season, a 31 point difference. Ottawa never seemed to have anything going. They had a good first month, but after that they just fell apart. To make matters worse, they had that whole scandal where Mike Hoffman’s girlfriend bullied his teammate Erik Karlsson and his wife online. Oh and not to mention Erik Karlsson himself is on the trade block and may be on a different team by the start of next season. Just an awful season surrounded by controversy.
Philadelphia Flyers: “Dreams and Nightmares” by Meek Mill
42-26-14, 3rd in the Metropolitan Division, 6th in the Eastern Conference, made the playoffs
This song seems like the unofficial anthem of Philadelphia. The Eagles fully embraced it when they ran out onto the field during the Super Bowl to it. The song, by Philadelphia’s own Meek Mill, offers a juxtaposition of success and failure, dreams and nightmares is a perfect way to describe the season of the Flyers, who returned to the playoffs after a year hiatus, only to be dominated by the Penguins in the first round.
Pittsburgh Penguins: “Two out of Three Ain’t Bad” by Meat Loaf
47-29-6, 2nd in the Metropolitan Division, 5th in the Eastern Conference, made the playoffs
Meat Loaf wasn’t wrong when he said two out of three ain’t bad. While the loss to the Caps in the second round may have been a little disappointing, the team and fans can’t be too disappointed, after winning the last two consecutive Stanley Cups.
San Jose Sharks: “Once Bitten Twice Shy” by Great White
45-27-10, 3rd in the Pacific Division, 6th in the Western Conference, made the playoffs
While this song may refer to topics relating to sexual activity, the sentiment is there for the Sharks. The saying “once bitten, twice shy” means you don’t want to do something a second or third time because of failure, or a bad experience the first time you did it. How does this relate to the Sharks? Well, San Jose went all the way to the Stanley Cup two seasons ago. They lost in six games to the Penguins. Last season, the Sharks lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Oilers. This year, they made it to the second round, only to lose to the Golden Knights. It seems like they are hesitant to go back to the finals because of being beaten by the Pens.
St. Louis Blues: “Crossroad Blues” by Robert Johnson
44-32-6, 5th in the Central Division, 9th in the Western Conference, missed the playoffs
The St. Louis Blues are singing the blues after this past season. After making the playoffs in each of the last six seasons, the Blues came up just one point shy of the Wild Card. It seems as if they are at a crossroads. They can either get back to the playoffs next year or make it a habit of missing the playoffs. They were just one OT loss away from potentially making the playoffs. If just one of their 32 losses was an OT loss instead of a regulation loss, they could have made the playoffs. We will have to see how they respond next season.
Tampa Bay Lightning: “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC
54-23-5, 1st in the Atlantic Division, 1st in the Eastern Conference, made the playoffs
“Thunderstruck” is one of the songs that the Lightning play when winning a game at home. They were the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference and make it to the Stanley Cup Finals this season. Yet, they had a 3-2 lead on the Capitals in the Eastern Conference Finals but couldn’t finish the series. They ended up losing Game 6 on the road and Game 7 on home ice to the eventual Stanley Cup champs. They use “Thunderstruck” to celebrate success, but they should also use it to describe their disappointing exit in the playoffs. The Lightning were definitely “Thunderstruck”.
Toronto Maple Leafs: “Headlines” by Drake
49-26-7, 3rd in the Atlantic Division, 4th in the Eastern Conference, made the playoffs
The Toronto Maple Leafs made a lot of headlines this season. Auston Matthews is a stud, and he is one of the top scorers in the league. The Maple Leafs made the playoffs, but failed to make it past the first round. “Headlines” for the historic franchise. The headlines continued when they signed Toronto native and childhood fan, John Tavares in free agency. Tavares was the top free agent on the market, and he turned down bigger deals to play for his hometown team.
Vancouver Canucks: “Three Time Loser” by Rod Stewart
31-40-11, 7th in the Pacific Division, 14th in the Western Conference, missed the playoffs
Vancouver had another bad season, as they finished 14th out of 15 in the conference. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2014-2015. They have missed the playoffs now in three consecutive years. They finished second to last in the conference each of those three years. They have been flat terrible. It’s safe to call them three time losers.
Vegas Golden Knights: “Viva Las Vegas” by Elvis Presley
51-24-7, 1st in the Pacific Division, 3rd in the Western Conference, made the playoffs
While it wasn’t the storybook ending they were hoping for, it was still an historic year in which they put together the best debut season for a new franchise across all sports ever. They have a bright future. Viva Las Vegas.
Washington Capitals: “We Are the Champions” by Queen
49-26-7, 1st in the Metropolitan Division, 3rd in the Eastern Conference, made the playoffs
When a team wins a championship there are many songs they can pick to represent their championship run. When this team won, Alex Ovechkin made it known there is only one song for the Caps: “We are the Champions of the World”.
Winnipeg Jets: “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” by Bachman Turner Overdrive
52-20-10, 2nd in the Central Division, 2nd in the Western Conference, made the playoffs
The Winnipeg Jets were probably the best team in the Western Conference this season. They ran right through the President Trophy-winning Predators, but had to play the buzz-saw Golden Knights in the Conference Finals to a disappointing end. With a good, young goalie and core, the Jets look here to stay for a while. They hope we ain’t seen nothing yet.
That’s a wrap for the season song review. If you think a song better represents the season that team had let us know in the comments section.