As the Washington D.C. area hockey fans were burned and spurned again by the fickle Gods of Hockey, I wondered how bad it's getting for here compared to elsewhere in the hockey universe.
The answer is that it's getting pretty bad, but isn't quite yet as bad as it is in other places.
I get my info from Sports Illustrated here: Longest Stanley Cup droughts
- The LA Kings won the Cup last year for the first time, not having won it before in their entire 44 years of existence, with their other appearance the infamous serious famous for the curve in Marty McSorley's blade and the godlike goaltending of Patrick Roy. Oh yeah, they also had Wayne Gretzky that year.
- Toronto Maple Leafs, last Cup in 1967, finally made the playoffs again this year. (46 years)
- St. Louis Blues, 44 years, haven't been to the finals since 1970.
- Vancouver Canucks, 41 years, 3 Stanley Cup finals.
- Buffalo Sabres, 41 years, two finals, and a few more conference finals.
- Washington Capitals, 37 years, 1 Stanley Cup final.
- Philadelphia Flyers, 37 years, but they've won a couple, and been in few more recent finals.
- Phoenix Coyotes/Winnipeg Jets, 33 years. No finals, but made it to the Western Conference final last year.
- The New York Islanders, 29 years; but yeah, there were four Stanley Cups before that.
So the Caps aren't the worst it can be, yet, but part of the recent problem is that they've been ousted early with Ovie and the Young Guns. There are a lot of reasons why, and clearly hockey IS fickle, and no one ever guaranteed that every team has to win a championship. Yet I think the Caps deserve a change of luck next year, but with the new NHL alignment, they might not even make the playoffs next year. The repercussions of such a failure like that will be fairly large, I would think.