blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Series Win Droughts

Saturday, May 2, 2015

NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Series Win Droughts

Every Stanley Cup winning season begins by qualifying for the postseason. Only 8 teams, however, take the second crucial step of winning a playoff series. For the remaining 22 teams, the playoff series win drought begins.

The chart below describes, in descending order, the number of seasons each of these 22 teams has gone without winning a series in the Stanley Cup playoffs, showing the last year they actually won a postseason series. Where no year appears, that team has NEVER won a playoff series.

Team       Seasons      Last Series Win
New York*      
21     
Florida
18     
Winnipeg^
15     
Never
Columbus
14     
Never
Toronto
10     
Edmonton
9     
Buffalo
8     
Colorado     
7     
Dallas
7     
Carolina
6     
Vancouver
4     
Arizona
3     
Nashville
3     
New Jersey
3     
Philadelphia
3     
St. Louis
3     
San Jose
2     
Detroit
2     
Ottawa
2     
Boston
1     
Los Angeles
1     
Pittsburgh
1     

*   New York Islanders
^   Includes tenure as Atlanta Thrashers


The Phoenix Coyotes hold the all-time series win drought record of 23 seasons going 14 seasons in Phoenix and 9 seasons in Winnipeg without a series win, a streak that was snapped in the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

The current leader is the New York Islanders who have failed to win a playoff series for over two decades. The Florida Panthers are close behind with 18 seasons separating them from a postseason series win. Arguably worse are the current Winnipeg Jets (formerly Atlanta Thrashers) and Columbus Blue Jackets, neither of whom have ever won a playoff series.  In fact, Winnipeg has never won a playoff game.

Interestingly, 5 of the 7 Canadian teams (Winnipeg, Toronto, EdmontonVancouver, Ottawa) find themselves on the list, with Montreal and Calgary winning their opening round playoff series this postseason. Unfortunately for the hockey-crazed nation, their teams also rank high on the Stanley Cup Championship drought lists, with 22 years separating the country from its last Cup win (Montreal 1993).

Of the eight teams advancing to the second round of the 2015 Playoffs, four (Anaheim, Chicago, MontrealNew York Rangers) won at least one playoff series last year.  None of the others (Calgary, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Washington) won a series in the 2014 Playoffs.
Dynasties are dying as parity prevails in the salary-capped NHL. Enjoy playoff success while it lasts, as shelf-life seems to be short.


* See also NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Qualification Droughts.
* See also NHL Stanley Cup Final Appearance Droughts.
* See also NHL Stanley Cup Championship Droughts.

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