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How Canada got shut out of the playoffs

By: Andrew McGill

Canada hockey

For the first time in 46 years, the country that created the sport of hockey will not have a single representative in the playoffs from either the Western or Eastern Conference.

On Wednesday, the Ottawa Senators were officially eliminated from playoff contention marking the last Canadian team to have it’s playoff dreams crushed. The Philadelphia Flyers shootout win over the Washington Capitals mathematically eliminated any chance the Senators had of making a late push for the playoffs.

The Senators currently have the most points by a Canadian team with 81 — 7 points out of playoff contention — and Montreal has the second most with 78, mostly from their dominant first quarter of the season.

The Canadian teams really under performed this year. In the Western Conference, the four Canadian teams round out the bottom four spots of the conference. In the East, the Toronto Maple Leafs own last place.

Montreal had a very promising season starting out. In fact, they looked like they were going to be ones that could have possibly ended the Stanley Cup drought for Canadian teams. But alas, they were too hot early and losing their Vezina-caliber goalie in November wasn’t helping them either.

Stuck without Carey Price, they were doomed from the start. The Canadiens should certainly be back in playoff contention next season, anything like this season and Montreal is in trouble.

Toronto is exactly where they were expected to be, and made some very smart moves at the deadline to expedite their rebuild, making it a little less painful. The rebuild is fully on in Toronto, and the people of Toronto are under good hands with their new management.

The four Western Conference teams all had rough seasons and mostly regressed.

The Vancouver Canucks reached the playoffs last season, but lost in the first round of last year’s playoffs. Ryan Miller is not what he once was, and their team needs work all around. They finished with the worst goal differential in the league at -46.

The Calgary Flames made a miracle run to the playoffs last year and even made some noise by making it past the first round of the playoffs. No such luck was to be had this year as they didn’t come close to the potential that they were expected to have.

The Winnipeg Jets squeezed into the playoffs last year, and had opportunities to get back in the race this season, but they decided to be sellers at the deadline and traded away captain Andrew Ladd. It was a smart move as their rebuild needs a little time, but they have two very promising young goalies to bank on.

The Edmonton Oilers, well,……their franchise isn’t necessarily synonymous with the word playoffs anymore.

A Canadian team has not won the cup since the Canadiens did it back in 1993, which means that it will be a 23-year streak after this season. The good news for Canadian hockey fans is that one of these teams should end up winning the lottery on American prospect Auston Matthews, who is expected to have an immediate impact on the team that selects him in this year’s draft.

For our sake, let’s just not hope it’s the Oilers.

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Andrew McGill

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