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Fun with math

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Since 1994, only eight NHL teams have failed to make it to their respective conference finals. Would you like to guess the teams? Go ahead and put in your call to Liam Maguire. I'll wait.

Give in? Here they are:

Boston, Columbus, L.A., Nashville, Phoenix, Atlanta, the New York Islanders and...


Of course, the statistic becomes even harsher when you realize that Phoenix was awarded a team in 1996, Nashville joined in 1998, Atlanta arrived in 1999 and Columbus rounded out the group in 2000.

Now, how many Stanley Cups has Montreal won since 1982? Easy answer, right? Two. But how many times have the Canadiens won the conference finals in the same period? Three. Three times in 28 years. A team like Carolina, however, has been three times (and won twice) in just over a third of the time -- only eight years. Of course, Montreal fans would be quick to point out that they have but one Cup to show for it.

So what's the moral of this mathematical tale? Perhaps it's that Montreal might be effective if they get far enough into the playoffs -- but they can't seem to do it very often. Why don't we hear more about this? Just something to chew on, when you hear the national media bagging on other Canadian teams for their lack of postseason stamina.

More later.