NHL playoffs will have no Canadian teams this year
All-American post-season last occurred in 1970
The scenario we've expected for weeks is now reality: there will be no Canadian teams in the NHL playoffs for the first time in 46 years.
That became official on Wednesday night, when Philadelphia defeated Washington 2-1 in overtime, putting the Flyers 10 points up in the wild-card race on Ottawa, which has five games remaining.
Teams get two points for a win, but even if the Senators win out and Philly loses all its remaining games, the Flyers would still hold the tiebreaker of having more non-shootout wins this season.
Ottawa is nine points behind Boston and eight back of Detroit in the race for the last playoff spot in the Atlantic Division, but those two teams play each other next week and the result, whatever it is, will ensure at least one of those teams finishes ahead of the Sens.
It's been a grim campaign for the NHL's seven Canadian-based clubs. Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Calgary occupy the bottom four spots in the Western Conference. Rebuilding Toronto is in the Eastern basement, and Montreal plummeted down the standings after an injury to reigning MVP Carey Price spoiled the Habs' excellent start.
Pretty much the only drama left as these teams slog to the finish line is who will finish dead last in the league and get the best chance of winning the draft lottery for the top overall pick.
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.