Last year, it was the Nashville Predators. The year before, it was the San Jose Sharks.
It never fails. A team no one expected to do well made a great run in the playoffs. The Predators making it to the Stanley Cup Final would shock no one. They are not the surprise team. So, who is?
Could it be the Winnipeg Jets? They are currently sitting fifth in the Western Conference, and performing better than most anticipated.
Or, the Calgary Flames? While they have ups and downs all season, the Flames boast wins over Nashville, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Washington.
Maybe it is the biggest surprise of all: Vegas Golden Knights. Yes, they are really fourth in the conference. They dominate at home, and play with amazing energy. Can they win enough to earn home ice advantage? With three teams ahead of them and a long season left, I doubt it. But, they did win in Nashville last week.
No matter what, the path to repeat as Western Conference Champs is difficult. Winning the Stanley Cup? There is a reason only one team wins.