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

Thursday, April 25, 2019

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 23 teams, the playoff series win drought begins.

The chart below describes, in descending order, the number of seasons each of these 23 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
Florida      
22     
Toronto
14     
Buffalo
12     
Vancouver
8     
Arizona     
7     
New Jersey
7     
Philadelphia
7     
Detroit
6     
Los Angeles
5     
Calgary
4     
Chicago
4     
Minnesota
4     
Montreal
4     
Anaheim
2     
Edmonton
2     
New York^
2     
Ottawa
2     
Nashville
1     
Pittsburgh
1     
Tampa Bay
1     
Vegas
1     
Washington
1     
Winnipeg
1     

* New York Islanders
^ New York Rangers

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 Florida Panthers with 22 seasons separating them from a postseason series win. This postseason was special for the Columbus Blue Jackets who won the first playoff series of their 19 year existence sweeping the Presidents' Trophy winning Tampa Bay Lightning. Last year's postseason was special for the Winnipeg Jets (formerly Atlanta Thrashers), as they won their first ever playoff game on April 11, 2018 (6,767 days since their first game on October 2, 1999) as well as their first playoff series win, ending a 17 season drought on both counts.

Interestingly, all 7 Canadian teams (Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Edmonton, Ottawa, Winnipeg) find themselves on the list. Unfortunately for the hockey-crazed nation, their teams also rank high on the Stanley Cup Championship drought lists, with 26 years separating the country from its last Cup win (Montreal 1993).

Of the eight teams advancing to the second round of the 2019 Playoffs, two (Boston, San Jose) won at least one playoff series last year. None of the others (Carolina, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, New York Islanders, St. Louis) won a series in the 2018 Playoffs. In fact, four of them didn't even qualify for last year's playoff (Carolina, Dallas, New York Islanders, St. Louis).

Playoff berths are harder to come by every year. Make the most of each opportunity as parity promises your window will likely quickly close.


* 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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