Best Canadian Team…Play-Offs Version

This year I think every Canadian team SHOULD make it into the playoffs. Here is my breakdown for each team:

Calgary: If Iggy and Kiprusoff work their magic, the Flames could again be contendors, especially because of the exodus of stars leaving Western Contenders. Realistically if they play up to scratch they might hit round 2.

Prediction: Makes play-offs, loses in first round

Edmonton: The additions of Pronger and Peca help, but the team won’t go any further unless it acquires a solid starting goalie. They might be able to break-free of their first round jinx, but they’ll probably just be a guarenteed first-rounder. Peca and Smyth are about the only realiable clutch assets.

Prediction: Round one, tough to beat team. If they get a star goalie, the sky’s the limit.

Montreal: This is the best edition of the Habs in years and they may be legitimate contenders in the East, especially if Theodore stays on form and becomes the next bright young play-off superstar.

Prediction: Will reach round two, and could get to the conference finals. Theodore could make them into the next Anaheim or Calgary though.

Ottawa: Lack of play-off success will continue especially if Hasek melts down, as there arent alot of play-off calibre starters that are on the market. If they retain their team they should go far, but they need major improvements to their non top-4 defensemen, their goaltending, and their left side.

Prediction: Make play-offs, lose in first round.

Toronto: Toronto’s roster is underrated. If Belfour stays healthy and they retain their roster and add a decent defenseman and they add abit of scoring upfront (whether through signings trades or prospects) they should be the same old Leafs, but if JFJ stays wise and doesn’t go crazy for veterans at the deadline, they won’t be contenders.

Prediction: First round for sure, if up against Ottawa then they’ll probably hit Round 2, but thats the farthest they’ll go baring a miracle.

Vancouver: Weaknesses are becomming more evident by the minute. They’ve lost defensemen #s 3 and 4, are uncertain in goaltending (and if Cloutier returns like reported, it’s a goalie with a history of play-off screw-ups), and if the Bertuzzi situation doesn’t go well they may be without their top right winger. Naslund could lead his team into the playoffs, but if so it’ll be in a fight for the last 2 spot. If they address those weaknesses, and add some depth, they could fare as well as they have in the past few years.

Prediction: Probably will be in fight for last 2 spots. If depth, goaltending, defense, and Bertuzzi are all solved, they should be decent in round 1, but if not, they’ll run the highest chance of a Canadian team to be out of the play-offs.

Below is a background history of Canadian team’s and the playoffs.



Canadian Team Advancing Farthest Into Playoffs (Past 15 years):

2004: Calgary (Cup Final)

2003: Ottawa (Conference Final)

2002: Toronto (Conference Final)

2001: Toronto (Round 2)

2000: Toronto (Round 2)

1999: Toronto (Conference Finals)

1998: Ottawa/Edmonton/Montreal (Round 2)

1997: Edmonton (Round 2)

1996: Toronto/Montreal/Winnipeg/Vancouver (Round 1)

1995: Vancouver (Round 2)

1994: Vancouver (Cup Final)

1993: Montreal (Cup Champs)

1992: Edmonton (Conference Final)

1991: Edmonton (Conference Final)

1990: Edmonton (Cup Champs)

Rankings for top Canadian Playoff Team (tie-breaker is farthest they’ve gone):

1) Edmonton: 5

2) Toronto: 5

3) Montreal: 3

4) Vancouver: 2

5) Ottawa: 2

6) Calgary: 1

7) Winnipeg: 1

8) Quebec: 0

Points scoring system, measuring playoff depth, since 1993, when last Canadian team joined:

Points

0 No Play-Offs

1 Round 1

2 Round 2

3 Conference Finals

4 Cup Finals

5 Cup Champs

Calgary :

1993 Round 1

1994 Round 1

1995 Round 1

1996 Round 1

2004 Cup Finals

Total: 8 Points

Avg. 0.67 points/year: no playoffs

Edmonton:

1997 Round 2

1998 Round 2

1999 Round 1

2000 Round 1

2001 Round 1

2003 Round 1

Total: 8

Avg. 0.67 points/year: no playoffs

Montreal:

1993 Cup Champs

1994 Round 1

1996 Round 1

1997 Round 1

1998 Round 2

2002 Round 2

2004 Round 2

Total: 14

Avg. 1.17 points/year: Round 1

Ottawa:

1997 Round 1

1998 Round 2

1999 Round 1

2000 Round 1

2001 Round 1

2002 Round 2

2003 Conference Finals

2004 Round 1

Total: 12

Avg. 1 point/season: Round 1

Quebec:

1993 Round 1

1995: Round 1

Total: 2 Points

Avg. 0.67 points/year: no playoffs

Toronto:

1993 Conference Finals

1994 Conference Finals

1995 Round 1

1996 Round 1

1999 Conference Finals

2000 Round 2

2001 Round 2

2002 Conference Finals

2003 Round 1

2004 Round 2

Total: 21

Avg. 1.75 points/season: Round 1

Vancouver:

1993 Round 2

1994 Cup Finals

1995 Round 2

1996 Round 1

2001 Round 1

2002 Round 1

2003 Round 2

2004 Round 1

Total: 14

Avg. 1.17 points/season: Round 1

Winnipeg:

1993 Round 1

1996 Round 1

Total: 2 Points

Avg. 0.5 points/year: no playoffs

OVERALL POINTS TOTAL:

1. Toronto: 21 Points

2. Montreal: 14 Points

3. Vancouver 14 Points

4. Ottawa 12 Points

5. Calgary 8 Points

6. Edmonton 8 Points


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