Quantcast

NHL: The not so Great White North this season

Published April 11, 2014 7:08 pm

NHL • Montreal Canadiens are the only Canadian team to make playoffs.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

For the first time since 1973, there is just one Canadian team in the NHL postseason. The Montreal Canadiens represent the nation's only hope of ending a 21-year Stanley Cup drought, and that's a long shot.

Across the rest of the country, disappointment reigns.

"It's not fun, for sure," said Calgary Flames forward Mike Cammalleri, who spent parts of three seasons with Montreal. "The players on the team, I can tell you for sure, feel it. It weighs a lot on you, no doubt.

"That's part of also what makes it so special to play in a Canadian market. When it goes the other way, there's no more rewarding feeling."

Playoff hopes slipped away at different times during the 2013-14 season for Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Calgary, culminating Tuesday night when the Leafs were the final team eliminated.

Change has already come for some clubs and more is on the way. Flames general manager Jay Feaster, Canucks GM Mike Gillis and Jets coach Claude Noel have already lost their jobs as part of this lost season.

And already, Vancouver hired Trevor Linden and Toronto brought in Brendan Shanahan to oversee what comes next.

The biggest collapse has been by the Canucks.

All seemed well at the start of 2014 for the perennial contenders who came within one win of capturing the Stanley Cup two seasons ago. Daniel and Henrik Sedin had new four-year contract extensions, and a 10-1-2 December had Vancouver in playoff position.

Then the bottom fell out. Seven losses in eight games to start January brought signs of trouble. Mercurial coach John Tortorella's infamous attempt to enter the Flames' locker room after a brawl made things worse.

In March, Gillis blamed injuries and the locker room incident for the Canucks' free fall that also included trading goaltender Roberto Luongo to Florida less than a year after sending Cory Schneider to New Jersey.

Now Gillis is gone and Linden must pick up the pieces.

Shanahan gets to do the same in Toronto, where the Leafs fell apart down the stretch, losing eight straight games in regulation. What seemed like a bright future when they nearly upset Boston in the opening round of last spring's playoffs has turned murky.

Goaltender Jonathan Bernier's groin injury March 13 began the spiral, and even Bernier's return couldn't stop the Leafs from disappearing from contention.

Unlike the Canucks, the Leafs didn't begin firing people immediately. Instead, they hired Shanahan away from the league office. EASTERN CONFERENCE

GP W L OT Pts GF GA

z-Boston 80 53 18 9 115 255 173

y-Pittsburgh 80 51 24 5 107 244 200

x-Tampa Bay 81 45 27 9 99 239 215

x-N.Y. Rangers 81 45 31 5 95 218 192

x-Montreal 81 45 28 8 98 214 204

x-Philadelphia 80 41 30 9 91 227 226

x-Columbus 81 42 32 7 91 228 214

x-Detroit 81 38 28 15 91 219 230

Washington 81 38 30 13 89 235 239

New Jersey 81 34 29 18 86 194 206

Ottawa 80 35 31 14 84 232 263

Toronto 81 38 35 8 84 231 255

Carolina 81 35 35 11 81 201 225

N.Y. Islanders 81 33 37 11 77 221 264

Florida 81 29 44 8 66 194 265

Buffalo 80 21 50 9 51 153 240

WESTERN CONFERENCE

GP W L OT Pts GF GA

y-Anaheim 80 52 20 8 112 259 204

x-Colorado 80 52 21 7 111 247 212

x-St. Louis 81 52 22 7 111 248 188

x-San Jose 80 49 22 9 107 241 197

x-Chicago 81 46 20 15 107 262 213

x-Los Angeles 81 46 28 7 99 203 170

x-Minnesota 81 43 26 12 98 204 199

x-Dallas 81 40 30 11 91 234 226

Phoenix 80 36 29 15 87 212 227

Nashville 80 36 32 12 84 202 234

Winnipeg 82 37 35 10 84 227 237

Vancouver 80 35 34 11 81 189 217

Calgary 81 35 39 7 77 208 236

Edmonton 81 28 44 9 65 198 26

NOTE: Two points for a win, one point for overtime loss.

x-clinched playoff spot y-clinched division

z-clinched conference

Friday's games

N.Y. Islanders 3, New Jersey 2, SO

Washington 4, Chicago 0

Carolina 2, Detroit 1

Tampa Bay 3, Columbus 2

Dallas 3, St. Louis 0

Winnipeg 5, Calgary 3

Colorado at San Jose, late

Saturday's games

Buffalo at Boston, 10:30 a.m.

Philadelphia at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.

N.Y. Rangers at Montreal, 5 p.m.

Toronto at Ottawa, 5 p.m.

Columbus at Florida, 5 p.m.

Chicago at Nashville, 6 p.m.

San Jose at Phoenix, 7 p.m.

Vancouver at Edmonton, 8 p.m.

Anaheim at Los Angeles, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday's games

Detroit at St. Louis, 10:30 a.m.

Boston at New Jersey, 1 p.m.

Carolina at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Washington, 1 p.m.

N.Y. Islanders at Buffalo, 3 p.m.

Ottawa at Pittsburgh, 5:30 p.m.

Nashville at Minnesota, 6 p.m.

Colorado at Anaheim, 6 p.m.

Calgary at Vancouver, 7 p.m.

Dallas at Phoenix, 7 p.m.