Down Goes Brown: Canadian teams that should have, though didn’t make Cup Final

We’re down to one Canadian organisation left in a NHL playoffs, that means hockey fans opposite a nation have come together behind a common cause: Telling people who consider we should all combine behind a final Canadian organisation to hit it off.

That’s usually how this time of year goes. Every Canadian fan knows that a nation hasn’t won a Stanley Cup given 1993. And all of us wish a organisation to be a one to mangle a streak. Get behind some other team, usually for a consequence of inhabitant pride? For many of us, that’s usually not how it works.

So while a Jets are this season’s best bandwagon team, many Canadian fans still won’t get on board. And if you’re in a organisation that’s rooting for Winnipeg to fail, there’s good news — for a final quarter-century, a best Canadian teams have always found a approach to blow it.

And that’s not even a teams that mislaid in a Final. We’ve had 5 of those given 1993, 4 of that came within one win of finale a drought. We all remember those teams. But copiousness of other Canadian contenders haven’t even done it that far.

So today, as fad builds in Winnipeg for a run to a Stanley Cup Final, let’s remember a other teams that once felt a same way, usually to see it all tumble apart.

We’ll demeanour behind on one deteriorate from any of Canada’s other teams that should have resulted in a outing to a Final, or even in a Stanley Cup finally entrance home — though somehow didn’t.

The team: 2011–12 Vancouver Canucks

Their record: 51-22-9 and a league-leading 111 points; this was a Canucks’ second true Presidents’ Trophy.

Leading scorers: Henrik Sedin (81 points), Daniel Sedin (67 points), Alex Burrows (52 points)

Starting goaltender: Roberto Luongo (2.41 GAA, 919 save percentage)… well, mostly. We’ll get to that.

Why they should have done it: By 2012, there unequivocally wasn’t many discuss that a Canucks were a best organisation in a league. Coming off of a prior year’s heart-breaking detriment in a Stanley Cup final, they non-stop a deteriorate with an underwhelming Oct before rolling over a joining for a rest of a year. After dual true Presidents’ Trophies and 4 uninterrupted years of 100+ points, a Canucks went into a playoffs as a favourites to once opposite paint a West in a Stanley Cup final.

What went wrong: The Kings showed up. Despite usually being a West’s eight-seed, a Kings were a season’s analytics darlings and felt like a tough pull in a opening round. They were some-more than that, unconditional a initial dual games in Vancouver by matching 4–2 scores. That was adequate for conduct manager Alain Vigneault to palm a starting duties over to Cory Schneider for a residue of a series. The backup played well, though a Kings finished off Vancouver in 5 games.

While a barter felt like a gutsy pierce during a time and Luongo focussed over retrograde to downplay any controversy, in hindsight this array was a commencement of a finish for a Canucks as legitimate Stanley Cup contenders. The subsequent few years featured a prolonged Luongo/Schneider drama, a banishment of Vigneault (and John Tortorella and Willie Desjardins), and a solid surge towards final place.

What a Jets can learn: Never assume tomorrow. Even in a issue of a detriment to a Kings, a Canucks felt like a organisation well-positioned for during slightest a few some-more years of contending. Instead, they’ve won usually dual playoff games in a 6 years since, and a Sedin-era organisation will go into a story books as one of a best to never win a Cup.


The team: 2002–03 Ottawa Senators

Their record: 52-21-8-1 (yes, this was in a four-column standings days). That was good for 113 points and a franchise’s usually Presidents’ Trophy win.

Leading scorers: Marian Hossa (80 points) and Daniel Alfredsson (78 points). The organisation also featured a second-half entrance of 19-year-old Jason Spezza, as good as a blue line featuring both Wade Redden and Zdeno Chara. They were clever everywhere.

Starting goaltender: Patrick Lalime (2.16 GAA, .911 save percentage). OK, roughly everywhere.

Why they should have done it: This was a arise of a Jacques Martin era, one that saw a Senators master a art of personification a suffocatingly effective style. They were low and disciplined, and notwithstanding how we competence remember it, they were also one of a league’s highest-scoring teams.

And on tip of all that, this was a year that a Senators didn’t have to worry about using into a Maple Leafs in a playoffs. The Battle of Ontario had been biased over a years, and maybe that got into a Senators’ heads a small bit. But with a Leafs creation an early exit, Ottawa finally had a transparent trail by a East that didn’t engage slaying any dragons. They knocked off a Islanders in 5 and a Flyers in 6 before assembly a Devils in a discussion final, meaningful that a leader would be large favourites over a pretender Mighty Ducks in a final.

What went wrong: One blown coverage that substantially cost them a Stanley Cup.

That’s over-simplifying things, of march — it’s never usually one play. But after descending behind 3–1 opposite New Jersey, a Senators stayed alive with a Game 5 win followed by some overtime heroics from Chris Phillips in Game 6 to force a determining diversion behind in Ottawa. That incited out to be a moving conflict that seemed headed towards another sudden-death showdown. And afterwards it all fell apart.

The Devils sealed out a game, afterwards went on to kick a Mighty Ducks in a final.

Unlike a Canucks, a Senators remained contenders for years to come, and finally got to play for a Stanley Cup in 2007. But in hindsight, there’s a good box to be done that 2003 was indeed a closest they ever came to winning it all.

What a Jets can learn: On a 2-on-2, maybe don’t both take a same guy.

The team: 2005–06 Calgary Flames

(I know, though honestly, aside from a 2004 outing to a final there unequivocally isn’t many to select from for Calgary.)

Their record: 46-25-11 for 103 points and initial place in a Northwest Division

Leading scorers: Jarome Iginla (67 points) and, uh, Daymond Langkow (59 points). Look, scoring abyss wasn’t a clever indicate — they finished 28th in a joining in goals. In fact, their third-leading scorer was a rookie defenceman, Dion Phaneuf.

Starting goaltender: Miikka Kiprusoff (2.07 GAA, .923 save percentage), with a best deteriorate of his career. He took home a Vezina and initial all-star organisation honours, and was a finalist for a Hart Trophy.

Why they should have done it: They were building off of a outing to a Cup final a prior season, despite with a momentum-sapping lockout in between. Still, on paper this organisation was improved than a 2004 version; Langkow was a good serve and during a time Phaneuf seemed like a second entrance of Scott Stevens. And many importantly, they had a best goaltender in a league. Goaltending wins in a playoffs, right?

What went wrong: It turns out that goaltending is voodoo. The Flames ran into a good Mighty Ducks organisation in a opening round, and a participation of Jean-Sebastien Giguere figured to annul some of Calgary’s advantage in net. But Giguere struggled, and a Flames hold a 3–2 array lead by five. But afterwards a Ducks switched starters, and with dual games to finish things off a Flames could pattern usually a singular idea opposite a purchase goaltending of — don’t giggle — Ilya Bryzgalov, who outdueled Kiprusoff to hit off a Flames in seven.

What a Jets can learn: You competence wish to make certain that we notice if a other organisation switches goalies.

The team: 2016–17 Edmonton Oilers

Their record: 47-26-9, good for 103 points and second in a Pacific Division

Leading scorers: Leon Draisaitl (77 points), Jordan Eberle (51 points) and Milan Lucic (50 points). Oh, and we theory that Hart- and Art Ross–winning Connor McDavid child was flattering good, too.

Starting goaltender: Cam Talbot (2.39 GAA and .919 save percentage), who played a league-leading 73 games

Why they should have done it: Well, “should have” competence be a small clever — it’s not like final year’s Oilers were a Western favourites. But like a Flames, we’re a small singular in a options when it comes to Edmonton, so we’ll go with a organisation that had 103 points, clever goaltending, and a best actor in a universe adult front.

What went wrong: After creation a playoffs for a initial time in a decade and violence a Sharks in 6 in a opening round, a Oilers stole a span of games in Anaheim to fire out to a 2–0 array lead over a Ducks. But afterwards came 3 true losses, dual of that came in remarkable death.

The array branch indicate came with a array tied in Game 5; with Edmonton seconds divided from winning a diversion and retaking a array lead, a Ducks scored a argumentative idea and went on to win in overtime.

Despite a clever display to extend a array in Game 6, a Oilers fell usually brief in a seventh game. Ah well, they could build on this subsequent year, right?

What a Jets can learn: Plan for a future, though don’t count on it operative out a approach we design – zero is guaranteed in this league. We all assume this is a initial of many low runs for a Jets. We suspicion that about Edmonton, too.

(Bonus lesson: Never assume a joining will call division usually given somebody yanks your goalie’s pads or, we don’t know, slashes them in a face.)

The team: 2014–15 Montreal Canadiens

Their record: 50-22-10 for 110 points, their tip sum given a 1980s

Leading scorers: Max Pacioretty (67 points), Tomas Plekanec (60 points) and P.K. Subban (60 points)

Starting goaltender: Carey Price (1.96 GAA, .933 save percentage), in a deteriorate that saw him win fundamentally each endowment a goalie can win, including MVP

Why they should have done it: Because they had a best goaltender in a world. The rest of a organisation wasn’t all that strong, and they ranked in a bottom half of a joining in goals scored. But Price stood on his conduct all year long, and we figured he’d be a tough kick for any organisation they ran into during a playoffs.

What went wrong: They drew a wily first-round matchup with a Senators (who’d usually had that crazy Andrew Hammond run to trip into a post-season) and won that one in six. But afterwards they collapsed opposite a Lightning in a second round, losing a initial 3 games of a array and eventually being separated in six. The pivotal impulse came in a opening game, a double-overtime thriller that a Lightning won on Nikita Kucherov‘s goal.

Or did they? On serve review, a play sure looked offside:

There was still time for a Canadiens to recover, though Tyler Johnson’s buzzer beater in Game 3 radically spelled a end.

What a Jets can learn: Remember to appreciate Kucherov and a Canadiens for giving us a offside coach’s plea if and when we fundamentally get screwed over by one. (Then again, when it comes to terrible replay reviews, we guys still kind of owe us one.)

The team: 2003–04 Toronto Maple Leafs

Their record: 45-24-10 for 103 points, that determined a authorization record that stood until this season

Leading scorers: Mats Sundin (75 points), Bryan McCabe (53 points) and Joe Nieuwendyk (50 points). But this organisation competence be best remembered for their deadline pickups, Brian Leetch and Ron Francis.

Starting goaltender: A 38-year-old Ed Belfour (2.13 GAA, .918 save percentage), in what incited out to be his final clever season

Why they should have done it: We could take a collect from a few Maple Leafs teams from a Pat Quinn era, including a 1999 and 2002 teams that went to a discussion final. But there’s a clever evidence that this organisation was a best of them all. The register featured 5 destiny Hall of Famers (and maybe a sixth if Alexander Mogilny ever gets in), and Gary Roberts and Owen Nolan. But it was a really aged core, and with a 2004–05 lockout looming, there was a clever clarity that this was going to be a group’s final chance.

What went wrong: Even with all a large names, a Leafs couldn’t arise above a logjam during a tip of a Eastern Conference – 6 teams finished with between 100 and 106 points, so a highway to a final was going to be tough. The Leafs warranted their common win over a Senators, interjection to a imperishable Patrick Lalime meltdown in Game 7. But they drew a tough matchup with a Flyers in a second round, mislaid a initial dual games in Philadelphia, and saw their deteriorate finish in 6 games interjection to Jeremy Roenick.

That impulse still stands as a many new coming by a Maple Leafs in a second round. The lockout spelled a finish of several of a pivotal veterans, and from there it was on to John Ferguson Jr., a Muskoka Five, Brian Burke and beyond.

What a Jets can learn: Veterans are nice, though make certain we have during slightest a few good immature players to assistance with a future. [Checks Jets roster.] Cool, looks like we already knew that.

The team: 1994–95 Quebec Nordiques

(What, we didn’t consider we’d forget them, did you?)

Their record: 30-13-5 in a lockout-shortened 48-game season. That was good for 65 points and a tip seed in a Eastern Conference.

Leading scorers: Joe Sakic (62 points), Peter Forsberg (50 points) and Owen Nolan (49 points)

Starting goaltender: Stephane Fiset (2.78 GAA, .910 save percentage). Goaltending was really a diseased spot, with Jocelyn Thibault and Garth Snow providing backup. They substantially would have won it all with a first-ballot Hall of Famer behind there, though in fairness, it’s not like those guys ever get traded.

Why they should have done it: The brief answer is that they were good adequate to win a Stanley Cup, as we’d see a year later. After years of wretchedness both on and off a ice, this was a deteriorate that all clicked in Quebec. The large boon for a Eric Lindros trade finally arrived, as Forsberg was an present star and won Rookie of a Year honours. Sakic had his initial top-five scoring season, Nolan gave them 3 point-a-game players, and this was also a year that they had Wendel Clark. They started 12-1-0, led a NHL in goals scored, and went into a playoffs as a transparent favourites in a East.

What went wrong: Freaking Alexei Kovalev.

Despite being a tip seed, a Nordiques had a bad fitness to run into a defending-champion Rangers in turn one. They won a opener though forsaken a subsequent two, environment adult a essential diversion 4 in New York. Sakic scored to make it 3–0 with seconds left in a first, usually to have it wiped out by a behind alarm as Kovalev rolled around on a ice after a slash.

The idea didn’t count, Kovalev done a supernatural recovery, and a Rangers came behind to win in overtime to take a 3–1 array lead. The Nordiques attempted to protest a game; a joining took a unusually surprising stairs of revelation a call was blown and fining arbitrate Andy Van Hellemond, though a final measure stood.

The Rangers finished a array in six, promulgation a Nordiques home in a initial round. Weeks later, a organisation was sole to new tenure and was on a approach to Colorado.

What a Jets can learn: Appreciate what we have now, given we never know when your organisation is going to collect adult and conduct south. Wait, we already knew that one, too.

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