Pennant Race

We’re down to the final four and it’s an interesting group. Detroit, Carolina and Pittsburgh have all won the pennant recently, while it’s been a long time between drinks for the Hawks. I think we have to start believing that Cam Ward is one of the best goalies of his generation, that Detroit does indeed have a better plan and that Pittsburgh did a nice job flushing several seasons to get top draft picks. Chicago is just a nice story. I won’t resent them until they win something.

Here’s the pennant winners since 1967, with this year’s final four in bold:

  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. Detroit (5): ’95, ’97, ’98, ’02, ’08
  6. New York Islanders (5): ’80, ’81, ’82, ’83, ’84
  7. Dallas (4): ’81, ’91, ’99, ’00
  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. Pittsburgh (3): ’91, ’92, ’08
  13. St. Louis (3): ’68, ’69, ’70
  14. Anaheim (2): ’03, ’07
  15. Buffalo (2): ’75, ’99
  16. Carolina (2): ’02, ’06
  17. Colorado (2): ’96, ’01
  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. Atlanta
  25. Columbus
  26. Minnesota
  27. Nashville
  28. Phoenix
  29. San Jose
  30. Toronto

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18 Responses to "Pennant Race"

  1. jon k says:

    Remarkably, Detroit has been to the Western Conference final 8 times in the last 14 seasons. That’s incredible when you think about it.

  2. HBomb says:

    As long as Carolina doesn’t win (FU Joey Camel Vag Face), I’ll be some degree of happy.

    Honestly, I’m rooting the Hawks, but I really like the Wings and Pens too. Kind of wish Boston had won last night, it’s been awhile for them too….in terms of pennants, longer than the Hawks in fact.

    48 years since the last Cup in Chicago. They’re due. But I honestly see this matchup with the Wings as having the potential to be like Oilers/Islanders circa 1983…

  3. Jeff J says:

    “Pittsburgh did a nice job flushing several seasons to get top draft picks.”Doesn’t the same apply for the Hawks? Give them an additional kudo for adopting the team building strategy of moving up four spots in the 2007 draft lotto to nab Kane.

  4. Coach pb9617 says:

    Pitkanen and Cole are flourishing.

  5. rananda says:

    Pitkanen has been unbelievably good. He’s probably been the best playoff dman thus far, in the East for sure.

  6. quain says:

    Yeah, Erik Cole is a vital cog in the Hurricane machine. His value has skyrocketed.

    Pitkanen has been quite solid though.

  7. Smytty777 says:

    Interesting the 3/4 teams in the finals this year switched coaches during the year. Has that ever happened before?

  8. Boondock says:

    Too bad about the Carolina/Boston game.

    How good would a Boston/Chicago final have been for those two cities? Would have been fun to watch for sure. Pittsburgh/Chicago seems to be the most exciting match-up left.

  9. Coach pb9617 says:

    LT,

    You might appreciate this.

    Specifically, the Expos bit.

  10. anonymous says:

    Of course Toronto follows San Jose alphabetically, but it’s still fun to see the Laafs at the bottom of that list. Conference playoff pennants started with expansion and the Laafs have ze-ro.

  11. Woodguy says:

    LT,

    You might appreciate this.

    Specifically, the Expos bit.That was a brilliant bit of writing.

    Thanks!

  12. uni says:

    Wow…I’ve never followed baseball, but after reading up on that clusterf*%k Bud Selig and MLB did to Montreal…christ.

    Can’t call up farm players for pocket change 50K? WTF. I’ve never read anything in professional sport franchise history that messed up as the Expo re-location.

  13. Oiler Mag says:

    Loving these play-offs – nothing quite like a game 7. Cole has been fun to watch, but 2 points in 14 games? Hardly sky-rocketing his value. JP is playing like a MVP – lets see how he handles 87. And ol’ Sergei is some kind of play-off monster and Tim Gleason is eventually fulfilling potential. The Canes are a fun team – especially when you’re desperate for them to lose and they just keep defying the odds.
    Hawks – Pens final, please.

  14. Ben says:

    While I think this season is closer to what he’ll do in the future, I’m not ready to crown Cam Ward just yet considering he was one of the worst starters in the NHL the previous 3 years. Of goalies with at least 120 GP from ’06 to ’08, only Thedore and Raycroft have a worse SVPCT than Ward’s .897. TSN and CBC seem to have already conceded the Olympic spot to him and his aura of clutchness though.

    As for Cole, I think he’s doing a lot of what he was doing in Edmonton, banging and crashing with no production. Despite playing with Staal, Cole has a 14 0-2-2 line. I’m not sure how that’s possible.

  15. Quinn says:

    I keep cheering against the Hurricanes and they keep winning. Plus, I have been a little underwhelmed by the Wings this season (though only a little). I fear it will be a ‘Canes-Wings final, though I long to see Penguins vs. Hawks (geez, I sound like an exec in the NHL head office).

  16. Dennis says:

    I build my playoff pool house upon the Pens and Dys but it was made of sand so that means I can now cheer for who I like instead of for who’ll win me money.

    I was all about Car knocking out the B’s but once it didn’t matter to me, I wanted a Pens/B’s series for a couple of reasons.

    First, it would be great hockey to watch and it would be up-and-down. Secondly, that EC final would round out a final four that’s either housing one of the biggest US TV markets or just a flat out good hockey market.

    The play Pitkanen made last night for the Samsonov goal was absolute fucking money. He beats his check down the left wall and then saucers a cross ice pass perfectly for a tap in. It’s funny to see those guys team up because they’re both guys that look so smooth and able that you believe something good will happen everytime they’re on the ice but it really doesn’t. The opposite would be a Robtaille who looks lazy and lethargic but, oh wait, that guy just scored.

    I wonder how things would’ve turned out for Joni and the Oilers had the club pulled the rumored Stoll for Ruutuu deal. The latter’s a good buddy of Joni’s and maybe he would’ve fit in more had his friend been around.

    Det vs Chi is interesting from the old timey perspective and because they both like to go and they have talent. But the only reason why I’ll give the Hawks a good chance is because the Wings can’t kill penalties. I don’t know if the numbers will back this up but wasn’t Chelios one of their better PKers years ago? Or perhaps it’s because Draper and Maltby have fallen down the mineshaft and they haven’t found any bottom sixers to replace them. Or maybe it’s as easy to explain as their netminding can struggle and that would be no more apparent than in a situation where the quality of shots would be the highest.

  17. Master Lok says:

    Toronto and San Jose on the bottom with zero eh? I’ve got nothing against San Jose, but it couldn’t happen to a better franchise than Toronto…

    The amazing thing is that they have had the money, they have had the draft picks (traded away), and they still haven’t come close.

  18. doritogrande says:

    I think we have to start believing that Cam Ward is one of the best goalies of his generation.

    While I agree that Ward is a great talent, he’s got to compete with the likes of Fleury, DiPietro, Lethonen, Price and the emerging Varlamov, Rask and (don’t laugh) Schneider for any title involving “best” and “generational” IMO. He’s been great thus far in his career in the playoffs, but he is what he is. A younger Chris Osgood.

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