The Greatest Canadian NHL Franchise: Part Two of Six - Playoff Appearances

ASRCorrespondent IAugust 19, 2008

Son-of-a Canuck!  

Okay, this Leaf fan is admittedly a little perturbed at Montreal’s early lead in the race to see who the greatest Canadian NHL franchise is. 

As some of you may recall, Montreal jumped out to a dominant first-round victory with an impressive 30 percent score in the Stanley Cup category of analysis.

I hate ‘em.

For those of you who missed it, you can check out the article, or just take my word that the first round rankings looked something like this:

1.       Montreal – with a score of 6.24

2.       Edmonton – with a score of 3.70

3.       Toronto – with a score of 2.82

4.       Calgary – with a score of 0.74

5.       Ottawa – with a score of 0.00

6.       Vancouver – with a score of 0.00

There was some excellent feedback to the piece, I must say.  I was especially interested in those comments that referenced suggestions that I design a formula to take mathematical account for the impact of league expansion on Cup chances.


Counterpoint: As the league has continued to grow, winning a Cup has not gotten easier per se.  Expansion has watered down talent to where a good team can dominate a mediocre league as opposed to a great team fighting to compete among other great teams.

In a sea of mediocrity, sometimes motivation and passion can overcome skill.

Just ask the 2006 Oilers.

If I should have accounted for anything, it would have been the inclusion of some equation that factors in the difficulties of establishing a dynasty-style championship run in the salary cap era.  Well that, and maybe Ottawa’s 23-point season.

I just thought I’d throw that one out there.  Come on, ten wins all year?  That must deserve a one-point deduction.

But this is why we have more than one category of analysis folks.

So here we go again—the second category for you hockey fans to froth over is playoff appearances in the modern era relative to the number of years in the league.


Playoff Appearances (VALUE = 10 of 55)

Did I mention that I hate Montreal?  It could be a touch of envy for the league leader in playoff appearances that has put a bad taste in my mouth.

Then again, it could be they began the career that was Claude Lemieux's.

Without further ado, with Montreal leading the way, and Vancouver pulling up the rear—bookends of the country itself—here it is:

*The ratio is multiplied by the value of this category to arrive at a score:

                Calgary: 19/27 = 0.704 = 7.04

                Edmonton: 20/27 = 0.741 = 7.41

                Montreal: 58/64 = 0.906 = 9.06

                Ottawa: 11/15 = 0.733 = 7.33

                Toronto: 48/64 = 0.750 = 7.50

                Vancouver: 21/36 = 0.583 = 5.83

Well, Ottawa did better on paper then they did in my memory.  I guess it’s probably because I’m still bitter that Sens fans actually think they’re not "band-wagoners." 

The Scotiabank Place was a morgue until Ottawa broke 100 points—but I guess that makes sense because their win column was, in fact, dead.

Okay, okay, I’ll stop picking on Ottawa. I have a Senator fan brother who used to cheer for the Leafs, so it's a sore spot I will admit prompts additional barbs. There, I said it. I kinda feel like I’m back at “AA”. That’s right, I said back—I am a Leaf fan you know.

“Hello everyone, my name is Andrew and I have a relative who cheers for the Sens”

Vancouver continues to be a standout at the bottom, making the playoffs a dismal 60 percent of the time, while Toronto and Edmonton are once again locked in a battle for second.

I refuse to comment on “the team” boasting a near 91-percent appearance rate. That’s just sick.


Montreal will hereafter be referred to as “those guys”—and those guys sure do a good job of winning.

No wonder Canadien fans tend to riot. They’re bored. 

I intercepted a letter from Fletch to the North Pole this week:

Dear Santa,

I know it’s been awhile since I called or wrote,

But Mats has stopped taking my offers and Blake is broke,

If you could find the time for me this year for what it’s worth,

All I want for Christmas is one of Montreal’s playoff berths.

Love Cliffy

I’m not a player—I just crush a lot.

Next up, season play. Stay tuned.


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