With one week remaining in the regular season schedule, only one Canadian team has clinched a playoff spot, the Montreal Canadiens. Not since 1973 has only one team made the playoffs from the country that claims the sport as its own.
Luckily there’s still time. But as of Sunday only the Toronto Maple Leafs have the closest chance and even they are a long shot at this point.
Here’s a look at where the Canadian teams in the Eastern Conference stand going into the final week:
Chances of making the playoffs: 100%
With the loss of the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday the Habs clinched a berth in the 2013-2014 playoffs, despite a loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first game they could solidify a place on their own. The Canadiens have three games remaining in which they will try to gain home ice advantage over the Bolts, their likely first round opponent.
This is the Habs’ second playoff appearance in a row after failing to qualify in 2011-2012. The last Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup (1993) is also looking to be the only team to still be playing after April 16th.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Chances of making the playoffs: 2.6%
A team that was in the thick of playoff contention for much of the season now finds itself with the slimmest of chances and only three games remaining.
The Leafs very much had the power to control its own destiny but an 8 game losing streak during the final stretch and a 4-2 no-show loss against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night have the Leafs reliant on other teams’ failures in order to make the playoffs.
The Leafs are currently one point out of the second and final wild card spot but all the teams around them have at least one game in hand. The Detroit Red Wings need just two points and the Columbus Blue Jackets need five points in five remaining games to clinch.
The Leafs finally qualified for the post season in the lock-out shortened season, which also ended the longest current playoff drought. They took the Boston Bruins to 7 games in round one before the Epic Meltdown.
Chances of making the playoffs: 0.1%
Even with 10 points still up for grabs the Ottawa Senators with 80 points and five games remaining are a long shot to make the playoffs. The Sens’ playoff chances are entirely reliant on other teams dropping out of contention.
The team will likely miss the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Last season’s second round defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins was the team’s best post-season performance since they lost to the Anaheim Ducks in the Cup Finals in 2007.
It’s been a difficult year for the Sens who lost Daniel Alfredsson in the off-season and yet tried to live up to last season’s expectations with the newly acquired Bobby Ryan. The team is 5-4-1 in their last ten with a good chance of going out on a high.
Playoff chance percentages thanks to SportsClubStats.
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