The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Nashville Predators last night by the final score of 2-0, thus claiming their second straight Stanley Cup championship. The Penguins are the first team since the 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings to win back-to-back championships. While the city of Pittsburgh will bask in the glow of another title, fans of the other 30 NHL teams are already dreaming about next season.

2018 Early title odds

Are the Pittsburgh Penguins on the verge of building a dynasty? They sure seem to be. Not even 24 hours after capturing their second straight Stanley Cup, and the fifth overall in team franchise history, the Penguins have already been tabbed as the team to beat once again next season by Las Vegas oddsmakers.The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has just released its odds for which team will win the 2018 Stanley Cup, with the defending champion Penguins leading the way at 8-1.

Right behind the Penguins is a three-way tie between the Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and Edmonton Oilers at 10-1. The defending Western Conference champion Nashville Predators are tied for the sixth-best odds at 14-1. The Las Vegas Golden Knights, the newest franchise in the NHL in 2017. are listed at 200-1 to be crowned NHL champions in 2018.

Winning three in a row is tough

Now, before you go spending your money on the Penguins to win another Stanley Cup in 2018, history shows that it is possible, but not probable.

Not only has it been 20 years since a team won back-to-back titles in the NHL, it has been even longer since hockey fans have seen a three-peat. You have to go back all the way to the late 1970's and early 1980's to find a team that dominated the sport of hockey by winning the Stanley Cup three consecutive seasons. Scotty Bowman led the Montreal Canadiens to four consecutive championships from 1976-1979.

If that wasn’t incredible enough, the next four seasons were dominated by Al Arbour and the New York Islanders. The Isles raised the Cup every season from 1980 through 1983.

The rest of the 1980’s were owned by Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers. Edmonton won back-to-back championships twice and captured five rings over a seven-season span.

Since then, no team has won more than two consecutive Stanley Cup titles. Can the Penguins be the first to accomplish the feat in over 30 years?

With players like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the emergence of young goaltender Matt Murray, the Pittsburgh Penguins have the talent to make it three championships in a row next season.