If you look at it closely you’ll notice that a good number of present NHL players were either too young or were not born yet when a Canadian team won the Stanley cup last! With the exit of the 3 NHL play-off teams from the tournament during the opening round of 2018-19 playoffs in April this year, the drought has hit 26 years mark.
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How this feat was accomplished?
Toronto Maple Leafs went down to Boston Bruins with a score line of 5-1 in Game 7 of the Eastern conference quarter-final on April 23, 2019. This sent them into offseason along with Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames who had exited earlier. The remaining 4 Canadian teams never made it to the postseason this year.
It was a big heartbreak for Maple Leafs as a franchise as they had last made it to the 2nd round of play-offs in 2004 and haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1967.
John Tavares, the Maple Leafs free agent signee expressed his disappointment stating, “You get so used to just being in it every day, competing and keep finding ways to get better and keep pushing forward. It’s still sinking in that we won’t be doing that (on Wednesday). That’s the hardest part.” It was an even more insulting exit for him as he was sucker punched by Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara.
Last Canadian team to win the Cup
Montréal Canadiens was the last Canadian team that won the Stanley cup way back in 1993. While this streak has been threatened on some occasions, with Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary each reaching the Game 7 of cup final before elimination, and Ottawa going all the way to the final once, this season was the 8th consecutive time when two American teams (St Louis Blues and Boston Bruins) are playing in the Stanley Cup finals. Year 2016 was even more memorable when none of the 7 Canadian teams qualified for the play-offs.
How was it back then?
Let’s tell you how life was back then when a Canadian team had won the Stanley cup. Will help put things into perspective! Personal computers were running Windows 3.1, there was no social media, Nokia was the number one mobile phones manufacturer, Tiger Woods was couple of months away from winning his 3rd straight US Jr Amateur Championship, Janet Jackson’s “The Way Love Goes” had topped the Billboard Chart and ‘Unforgiven’ had just bagged the Academy award for the Best picture!