By Rob Ficiur
As the NHL’s regular season enters its final week here are a few questions (and a hint or two) to test your regular season knowledge – before the second season begins.
1. Who is the only NHL goalie that is the all-time wins leaders for two different teams?
2. When the Calgary Flames beat the Edmonton Oilers 8-1 on March 22; what Battle of Alberta record did the teams set?
3. The NHL regular season has just over a week to go. Some teams are perennial playoff participants, in other cities the fans can’t remember what a playoff game is.
a) What current NHL team has appeared in the playoffs the most consecutive years?
b) What current NHL team has missed the playoffs the most consecutive years?
4. Which current NHL team has had the longest Stanley Cup drought? (Most years in a row without winning the Stanley Cup).
1. This goalie is still playing the NHL. His current team expects him to play many years – so he is not an aging veteran playing a backup roll.
2. No hint will help you on this – the two trivia facts about this are not something you would ever look up.
3a) This team is currently on the bubble. At this precise moment, they are in a playoff spot; there are four teams fighting for two spots. Their status could change in if they hit a losing streak. Playoffs are not a guarantee this year.
3b) The last time this team played an NHL playoff game, they were in Game #7 of the Stanley Cup final; one win away from being champions. They did not win that game or series. Even their harshest critics would never have imagined they would be out of the playoffs this many years in a row.
4. One answer to this question could be the Ottawa Senators. They last won the Stanley Cup in 1927. However, from 1935-1990 there were no Ottawa Senators in the NHL. The answer to the question is another team.
Answers (Don’t peek until you try to figure out the questions).
1. Roberto Luongo has the most career wins for the Vancouver Canucks and his new / old team the Florida Panthers. In his Vancouver years Bobby Lou 252 regular season games, 42 more than second place Kirk Maclean and third place “King” Richard Brodeur (126 wins). All three of these goalies led the Canucks to the Stanley Cup final and a few years later they were gone. When Luongo left Florida in 2006 he was the franchise leader in goalie wins with 108. When he returned in 2014 he was still the franchise leader. (Luongo is also Florida’s leader in games played and shutouts). If Roberto Luongo was the best in the two cities he has played in why were the Canucks so anxious to get rid of him?
2. When the Flames beat the Oilers 8-1 in Edmonton, it clinched the season series for the Flames 3-2. (Not a record there.) However, all five games were won by the visiting team. The other record, for the Flames is that it was their highest margin of victory for the Flames against the Oilers in Edmonton. While there is no number to measure it – was the lowest of low points in a very low season for the Oilers.
3a) The Detroit Red Wings have been in the NHL playoffs for 22 consecutive years. Since they last missed the playoffs in 1989-90, Detroit has won four Stanley Cup championships; more than any other team in that time period. The longest consecutive playoff streak in NHL history is 29 years set by the Boston Bruins from 1968-1996.
3b) The Edmonton Oilers last playoff game was Game #7 of the 2006 final. Counting this year, the Oilers will have missed the playoffs eight years in a row. The Winnipeg Jets (Atlanta Thrashers) franchise is close behind with seven non play off years in a row as of 2014. The longest playoff drought in NHL history is ten years set by the Florida Panthers from 1999-2012.
4. The Toronto Maple Leafs last won the Stanley Cup the year Canada celebrating its centennial; Lester Pearson was the Prime Minister and our Maple Leaf flag was two years old. The Toronto Maple Leafs, 1967 Stanley Cup Champions, have gone 45 (soon to be 46) years in a row without winning the Stanley Cup.