Canada’s Most Miserable NHL Season Comes To A Close

Canada’s Most Miserable NHL Season Comes To A Close&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Hockey is Canada’s ‘national sport’ but at least as far as the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs are concerned they’ve been ‘shut out’. For only the second time in NHL history–and the first time since the 1970’s–there are no Canadian teams in the playoffs. There are more teams from the Southeastern United States in the playoffs than Canadian teams. Toronto, Montreal and Edmonton are out. Nashville, Florida and Tampa Bay are in.

The closest that any Canadian team came to reaching the playoffs–in terms of points–is Winnipeg who finished 9 points out of the final wild card spot in the Western Conference. That’s somewhat misleading, however, as they never really had a chance and only started to play well when the pressure was completely off. The Jets bumbled through most of the season but left their fans with a little bit of hope going 6-2-2 in their final ten games. The Jets are also the only Canadian team that had a winning record in their final ten contests.

Ottawa was the last hope for Canadian fans but they were eliminated from wild card contention roughly two weeks ago. The Senators went 5-4-1 in their last ten games and the Montreal Canadiens went 5-5-0 in their last 10. Every other Canadian team had a losing record in their final ten games. At least Toronto has an excuse–they were hoping for the worst record in the NHL to give them the best hope for the top draft pick and forward Auston Matthews. They finished with 69 points going 3-7-0 in their last ten games. They managed to ‘beat’ Edmonton–4-5-1 in their last ten games–by one point for the dubious distinction of being the worst team in the NHL.

The bottom four teams in the West? All Canadian teams. In addition to basement dwelling Edmonton there’s Vancouver (75 points 4-5-1 L10), Calgary (77 points 4-5-1 L10) and Winnipeg (we talked about them above–they finished with 78 points). The good news is that things almost *have* to improve next year with a full year of Connor McDavid in Edmonton, Mike Babcock’s second year in Toronto and (hopefully) healthy goalies in Calgary, Montreal and Winnipeg.

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