Monday, April 6, 2009

Canadian NHL teams, No Cups since '93

Pretty much once a week, myself and three or four friends of mine will get into heated email debates about hockey, usually about the virtues of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks. Most often the Canuck “fans” in our group will bash the Leafs for not having made the Stanley Cup Finals even once since 1967, and they will extol the virtues of the ‘Nucks and the fact that they have been to the finals a whole two times since their inception. Our retort as Leaf lovers is to chastise this “celebration of losing” and failure to close the big one. Once in a while, a Canadiens, Oilers, Flames or Sens fan or two will be included in our ridiculous arguments, backing their squads. I recently decided to compare these six Canadian NHL teams in raw numbers. I chose to look at each franchise’s records since a Canadian team last won the Cup, that of course being Montreal in 1993. The winning of the Cup is the ultimate goal for any team and fan and this would trump any dispute between fans.

As the chart shows, somewhat surprisingly (even for me) the Leafs come out on top in both regular season winning percentage and playoff rounds won. Ottawa is at a slight disadvantage having been an expansion team in 1993, but that matters not to me. One could say each and every Canadian team has had an expansion-like roster at some point or another over the last fifteen seasons…the Leafs time being currently.
The Canucks having reached one of their two “magical” Finals in ’94 have won a mere three playoff series in the last thirteen seasons since their run. Other than the two finals runs by the Alberta teams, Edmonton has won two series, and Calgary an embarrassing zero rounds since 1994.

As a point of comparison, I added Tampa Bay to the list. The ‘Ning with their Cup win in 2004 a distant memory have only one other playoff series win aside from that year. They are 229 points behind Toronto since 1994 and have a miserable winning percentage of .446. I as a Leaf fan, and I’m sure most of my friends as well would surely trade a far superior regular season record for even one Stanley Cup victory. I just hope I’m not waiting another forty odd years.

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