No Canadian teams in the NHL playoffs? It could happen
All-American post-season last occurred in 1970
If the NHL playoffs started today, it would mark the first time in 46 years that no Canadian teams are involved.
(It may also mark the first time the playoffs started in mid-January, but indulge us for a moment.)
Montreal's loss to Boston on Tuesday night — its fifth in a row and 18th in 24 games since star goalie Carey Price went down with an injury on Nov. 25 — dropped the Canadiens out of the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Heading into the night, Montreal was the only one of the seven Canadian-based teams to hold a playoff position, and none of them moved into one based on Tuesday's results.
While plenty can change before the end of the regular season on April 9, the outlook isn't promising. Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg have the three worst records in the West, where Vancouver is the top Canadian team at the moment. The Canucks are one spot out of a playoff berth in both the wild card and Pacific Division races.
In the East, rebuilding Toronto sits in second-last place, 10 points out of a wild card, with Montreal and Ottawa both a point out.
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.