WASHINGTON — The Washington Capitals are on the verge of clinching the Presidents Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s top team, for the second year in a row.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are the only other team left in contention for the top spot, which means that Pens players will likely be asked what it would mean to win the trophy. Undoubtedly, the Pens will downplay the trophy’s importance, shifting focus to the playoffs.
But they would be lying. For what it’s worth, Caps defenseman Karl Alzner is done being coy about his desire to win it.
“Every team wants to win and wants to win the Presidents [Trophy],” he told the media on Wednesday. “It doesn’t matter. They’re going to tell you it doesn’t matter if we win the Presidents [Trophy] because it matters in the playoffs, which is true, but if any team said they didn’t want to win it, then that would be bogus in my opinion.
“I’d be very, very shocked if there was ever a team in history that said, ‘We’re going to come in second in the regular season because we think it’s bad luck to come in first.’ I would love to find a team that ever said that.”
And you won’t find that team because no team is honest about wanting to win a trophy that it can’t reach.
So if the Caps clinch the Presidents Trophy, here is a message to the players, coaches, fans and front office personnel from Columbus and Pittsburgh: save the bogusness. No team wants to come in second place.