Only twice in the past 44 years has a team lost in the Stanley Cup Final and returned the following season to win the Stanley Cup.
If a roster of NHL experts is correct, the Boston Bruins will join the 1984 Edmonton Oilers and 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins on that exclusive list.
The Bruins, who lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2013 Cup Final, earned the most votes in a poll of 19 NHL.com writers and NHL Network broadcasters.
Seven teams received votes, but none earned more than the five received by the Bruins. The defending champion Blackhawks got one vote.
The Bruins received six votes to repeat as Eastern Conference champion, as did the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team they swept in last season's conference final. In all six teams received at least one vote to win the conference.
In the Western Conference, the top choice was the Blackhawks with seven votes, one more than the San Jose Sharks. The Los Angeles Kings got four votes, while the St. Louis Blues got two.