Four of NHL's original six teams set to miss the playoffs


With the NHL's regular season winding down it appears that four of the league's original six clubs will be missing out on the postseason action this spring. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins will be fighting for the Stanley Cup later in April, but the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks will all be on the outside looking in. The Bruins and Leafs were in second and third place in the Atlantic Division respectively as of March 26th and will likely face off against each other in the first round, leaving just one original six club with a shot at winning the Stanley Cup this season.

The Canadiens and Red Wings held onto fifth and sixth spots in the Atlantic with 66 and 65 points respectively. However, both squads are well over 30 points behind the Leafs and the last playoff spot in the division and are more than 20 points out of the wild card race. As for Detroit, they also missed the postseason last year for the first time in 26 straight seasons years while the Habs last missed them in 2015/16. This will be the first season in NHL history that Montreal, Detroit, and Chicago will all miss the playoffs. The Blackhawks were officially eliminated a week ago and it's the first time they won't play in the postseason since 2007/08. In addition, it's the first time both Detroit and Chicago have missed out on the action since back in 1969.

With 71 points, Chicago looks likely to finish in last place in the Central Division and are about 20 points behind the last divisional playoff spot and wild card team. As for the New York Rangers, they're battling it out with the New York Islanders for the basement of the Metropolitan Division. They are about 15 points back of the last divisional postseason spot and the wild card teams after making the playoffs every year since 2009/10. Of course, many teams bounce back the year after failing to make the playoffs with Chicago being a prime example. After watching the Stanley Cup showdown on TV a decade ago they stormed back to win three cups of their own in the span of just seven years.

The longest current playoff streak belongs to the Pittsburgh Penguins and they've won the Stanley Cup three times already during that stretch, including two in a row. The Blackhawks and Rangers were next in line at nine and seven straight seasons, but both of those streaks will be coming to an end. Also, it looks like the St. Louis Blues' current run streak of six years may be in jeopardy before the campaign's over as they battle it out with seven games to go. The longest playoff streak in NHL history was 29 seasons by Boston from 1967/68 to 1995/96 with Chicago going 28 consecutive postseasons from 1969/70 to 1996/97. Both Detroit and St. Louis had streaks of 25 seasons with Montreal rounding out the top five with a 24-year string.