The term "Stanley Cup hangover" is a misnomer. "Staney Cup drain" might be better, because that's what it is.
It takes an enormous emotional and physically toll to win an NHL championship. The hard part about the following season is summoning the same level of passion and physical intensity ... every night.
No team has repeated in the salary cap era (since 2005-06). And only the Detroit Red Wings have pulled it off in the past 13 years (1997 and 1998).
"Every night, every team brings their best game. It was hard to stay at that peak level you need to stay at in the NHL," said goaltender Chris Osgood, who played for the Wings in '97 and '98. "For us it was just peaks and valleys as a player and as a team. Just trying to play solid hockey night in night out was difficult sometimes, because when it's all said and done, you only really have a month and a half off after all the fun times at the end of the season. It seems like the seasons roll into each other. The longevity of the regular season (is a challenge), because you look when it starts and you think, 'We're not even close to April.' We just tried to break it down into small segments and play well for that particular time."