If the NHL playoffs started today, it would mark the first time in 46 years that no Canadian teams are involved. It seems surreal, that not a single Canadian team is in a playoff spot as of right now. The possibility of it happening is definitely there.
(It may also mark the first time the playoffs started in mid-February, but indulge us for a moment.)
The Montreal Canadiens are the closest Canadian team to a playoff spot, 6 points out. With the news of Carey Price possibly being done for the season, it doesn’t look good for the Canadiens.
While plenty can change before the end of the regular season on April 9, the outlook isn’t promising. Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Vancouver have the four worst records in the West.
In the East, rebuilding Toronto sits in last place, 15 points out of a wild card, with Montreal and Ottawa both 6 and 4 points out respectively.
The last time the NHL post-season was an all-American-team affair was in 1970. That was the year Boston’s Bobby Orr scored his famous overtime winner to finish off St. Louis in the Stanley Cup final.
Since then, Canada has had at least two playoff clubs in all but two years: 2014, when Montreal made it to the Eastern final, and 1973, when the Canadiens won the Cup.
Last year, five of the seven Canadian teams made the playoffs, with only Edmonton and Toronto missing out.
No Canadian team has captured the Cup since the Habs in 1993.