Pennant Update

This is Fernando Pisani. In what has been a pretty famous NHL career he won a pennant with the Edmonton Oilers spring 2006.

Around Christmas last year I posted an item on “pennants” and how it really did seem vital to award two of them per season (as opposed to one SC winner) as we move forward and evaluate NHL careers. Since the HOF and fans in general put so much importance on winning a Stanley (so much importance that Mark Howe remains on the outside looking in while a few less impressive careers got rewarded because of SC rings) it would seem to me to be a suitable idea to put extra weight on winning your conference.

The original post is here. The post-1967 pennants look like this:

  1. Montreal (11): ’68, ’69, ’71, ’73, ’76-’79, ’86, ’89, ’93
  2. Boston (7): ’70, ’72, ’74, ’77, ’78, ’88, ’90
  3. Edmonton (7): ’83, ’84, ’85, ’87, ’88, ’90, ’06
  4. Philadephia (7): ’74, ’75, ’76, ’80, ’85, ’87, ’97
  5. New York Islanders (5): ’80, ’81, ’82, ’83, ’84
  6. Dallas (4): ’81, ’91, ’99, ’00
  7. Detroit (4): ’95, ’97, ’98, ’02
  8. New Jersey (4): ’95, ’00, ’01, ’03
  9. Calgary (3): ’86, ’89, ’04
  10. Chicago (3): ’71, ’73, ’92
  11. New York Rangers (3): ’72, ’79, ’94
  12. St. Louis (3): ’68, ’69, ’70
  13. Anaheim (2): ’03, ’07
  14. Buffalo (2): ’75, ’99
  15. Carolina (2): ’02, ’06
  16. Colorado (2): ’96, ’01
  17. Pittsburgh (2): ’91, ’92
  18. Vancouver (2): ’82, ’94
  19. Florida (1): ’96
  20. Los Angeles (1): ’93
  21. Ottawa (1): ’07
  22. Tampa Bay (1): ’04
  23. Washington (1): ’98
  24. Columbus
  25. Minnesota
  26. Phoenix
  27. San Jose
  28. Toronto
  29. Atlanta
  30. Nashville

This list shows just how incredibly difficult it is to win a pennant. Ottawa has been an eastern power for several years now and has one pennant to show for it. Detroit has been punishing opponents for the last dozen years and yet have only 4 pennants.

This season there are three teams who have never won pennants with a chance (SJS, NASH, MINN) and among recents winners only Anaheim has a chance to put together two pennants in a 3 year period. The last team before that to win one and still be in the race is Calgary (2004 pennant winner).

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9 Responses to "Pennant Update"

  1. HBomb says:

    Wow, Montreal with a clear lead over the pack, AND 10-1 in Cup finals since expansion. Understandable why they’re such a love/hate phenomenon (Dennis’ use of the word Cuntreal is always good for a laugh).

    How far forward could we consider their foundations of success being built on the pre-expansion system of “tagging” young players. Is it a stretch to say the four-in-a-row team still was reaping the benefits of said system?

    Speaking of the Habs, bold prediction here: Boston wins game six and gets all the momentum going back to La Belle Province. Then, in game seven, they severely outchance the Canadiens but Price holds the fort. Then, late in the game with the score tied, the Habs get a bullshit powerplay and score the winning goal via the man advantage.

    Sound about right? From what I’ve read and seen, it seems like that’s the sort of stuff that happens in this rivalry. Just like Yankees/Red Sox, the team from Beantown is taking the short end of the stick the large majority of the time (what was it, 18 playoff series in a row that Montreal bested Boston, a streak that ended in 1988).

    If not for the Celtics, there would have been a long string of suicides by Boston sports fans in the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s. Nowadays though? The Patriots are good, the Celtics are a title contender, the Red Sox are a powerhouse that has broken “the curse”, and the Bruins appear to have some nice pieces in place.

    If they add Marian Hossa this summer (as per recent speculation in the MSM) to couple with the return of Patrice Bergeron, look the hell out…..

  2. doritogrande says:

    “If they add Marian Hossa this summer (as per recent speculation in the MSM) to couple with the return of Patrice Bergeron, look the hell out…..”

    While I agree in principle, I don’t see Hossa liking Boston’s defensive trap approach to hockey. From what I’ve seen he appeals more to the Ilya Kovalchuk freewheeling hockey.

    It’d be a scary good team with Hossa in Boston, that much you’ve got correct, but I see a team that has some salary cap issues going forward. Especially if they’re forced to use Tuuka Rask for any length of time next year. Manny Fernandez comes off LTIR next year, as does Bergeron so there’s 9M of your space. Chara’s got 7.5 and you lose an important vet this offseason in Ward.

    Hossa’s going to be looking for a large, long contract and I don’t think Boston can afford a lengthy contract because they’ll have to pay their emerging players like Kessel, Lucic, Kobasew and Kreici very soon, and are paying Marco Sturm way too much money.

    My money’s on Hossa going to Florida to line up on Jokinen’s wing.

  3. Lowetide says:

    hbomb: That late 70s team had a lot of talent that was procured under the old system before the universal draft. Even Guy Lapointe (1948 born) was a sponsored player plus Houle was drafted with that “french” rule.

    And of course Lemaire, Savard and several others were older than that and they had a bunch of draft picks that allowed them to get Lafleur etc by selling off extra players that should have been made available to the new teams (Ernie Hicke’s draft year should have been 1967).

    Sam Pollock stole the 70s.

  4. HBomb says:

    My money’s on Hossa going to Florida to line up on Jokinen’s wing.

    Might not be a bad bet, but my money is still on him going to Phoenix for about 9 million a season to play with his brother.

    And I wouldn’t count out the new GM in Vancouver taking the Naslund and Morrison money and trying to “make a splash”.

  5. hwy16 says:

    post the dynasty era (i.e. post 1990) here is what it looks like:
    Detroit 4
    New Jersey 4
    Dallas 3
    Pittsburgh 2
    Colorado 2
    Carolina 2
    Anahiem 2
    Montreal 1
    Edmonton 1
    Phil 1
    Calgary 1
    Chicago 1
    NYR 1
    Buffalo 1
    Vancouver 1
    Florida 1
    LA 1
    Ottawa 1
    TB 1
    Washington 1
    all else 0

  6. Bruce says:

    Good stuff as usual, LT. I have done a similar analysis for years, but consider the regular season champ as the “second” winner rather than the beaten finalist. As I wrote in response to your original post:

    Because the first place winner has to beat the whole league, not simply the half of it that produced the beaten finalist, to me it’s an even better indicator that reveals who the strong clubs were. Especially when the same team wins both, as is not possible with the pennant winners.

    Here are the totals since the Oilers entered the NHL in 1979 (President’s Trophies or equivalent + Stanley Cups = Titles won):

    Detroit 6 + 3 = 9
    Edmonton 3 + 5 = 8
    NY Islanders 2 + 4 = 6
    Colorado 2 + 2 = 4
    Calgary 2 + 1 = 3
    NY Rangers 2 + 1 = 3
    Dallas 2 + 1 = 3
    Pittsburgh 1 + 2 = 3
    New Jersey 0 + 3 = 3
    Philadelphia 2 + 0 = 2
    Boston 2 + 0 = 2
    Montreal 0 + 2 = 2
    Chicago 1 + 0 = 1
    St.Louis 1 + 0 = 1
    Ottawa 1 + 0 = 1
    Buffalo 1 + 0 = 1
    Tampa Bay 0 + 1 = 1
    Carolina 0 + 1 = 1
    Anaheim 0 + 1 = 1
    Totals 28 + 27 = 55

    Note the complete lack of championship pedigree from the three most recent Stanley Cup winners. Also note that while the Red Wings have finally passed the Oilers for total titles after a decade and a half of consistent excellence, Edmonton is still the only team to win five Stanleys in the years since we entered the league. And we all know that’s the one that really matters.

  7. Bruce says:

    … and from the above, the following are the clubs that won the regular season-playoff “double”, leaving no doubt as to who was the best team in the NHL that season:

    1980-81 NY Islanders
    1981-82 NY Islanders
    1983-84 Edmonton
    1986-87 Edmonton
    1988-89 Calgary
    1993-94 NY Rangers
    1998-99 Dallas
    2000-01 Colorado
    2001-02 Detroit

    With 2008 pending, that’s 9 of 27 first-place teams that have gone on to win the Cup. LT, would you consider .333 a good batting average in this context?

  8. Lowetide says:

    Bruce: Yeah, probably. The NHL is unique in that by the time you win the Stanley there are so many dead bodies lying around that depth and luck take a chunk out of the regular season math.

  9. Judging Mike Gillis | Ice Nation UK says:

    […] Trophies, and reaching Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.  I personally agree with Lowetide’s view on measuring success, and that pennants (i.e. banners) are an ideal measurement of success in an era where it is […]

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