The last time that the Colorado Avalanche won the President's Trophy as the National Hockey League's top regular season team, they went on to win the Stanley Cup.
And now, 20 years later, they'll be hoping for just as happy an ending as they enjoyed then.
With a 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings tonight at Ball Arena in Denver, the Avalanche officially claimed the title as the top team in the NHL. It was their fifth consecutive victory and eighth in their past nine, and they've officially secured home ice throughout the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Thanks to having five more victories than the Vegas Golden Knights despite finishing the season with an equal number of points, the tiebreaker went to Colorado.
And just like in 2001, the Avalanche will have to go through the St. Louis Blues in order to advance. They'll square off against the 2019 Cup champions, while the Golden Knights will be taking on the Minnesota Wild.
The Avalanche also have a bit of history on their side. The last President's Trophy winning team that won the Stanley Cup was the Chicago Blackhawks - also in a shortened season (2012-13).
"It's exciting. The conversation in the room and talk in the room is this is where everyone's worked towards to get here this year," said rookie Alex Newhook prior to tonight's game. "In my short time here, it's still exciting to have this opportunity in front of us and be a part of something that could be pretty special here in these next two days and the next few months to come."
With a stellar offensive attack led by the likes of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog, one of the top blue lines in the NHL led by the dynamic Cale Makar, and steady goaltending with 2019 Stanley Cup winner Philipp Grubauer, the Avalanche are certainly regarded as one of the favorites to be the last team standing when it's all said and done.
"Especially this year, I think it might make it more special because of the grind of the season and the caliber of teams that we've been playing constantly," said Nazem Kadri of being the NHL's top team. "For us, we talked about this early on in the season, and it's nice that it could possibly come to fruition."