Sunday, April 17, 2011

The 96 year Stanley Cup Drought

Logo of the Vancouver Millionaires
The last time Vancouver won the Stanley Cup was in 1915 when the Millionaires of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association defeated the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey Association.   The 96 years since then is the longest drought for any city in the current NHL.   Admittedly Vancouver did not have a team that was allowed to compete for the Stanley Cup from 1926 to 1970,  a 44 year gap.  

The Millionaires made it to the finals three more times, twice against Toronto and once more against Ottawa.

The Vancouver win in 1915 was the first time the Stanley Cup was awarded to the team that won the professional league playoffs.   Before 1915 teams challenged the last winners for the Cup, though the NHA champions in 1911, 12, and 13 were awarded the Stanley Cup.

The 1915 Millionaires team had some really big names on it - Cyclone Talyor, Frank Patrick and Frank Nighbor.   With players like that, it was hardly surprising Vancouver swept Ottawa in three games.  Seven of the 11 Vancouver players made into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Cup run in 1982 was a fluke and only happened because Vancouver was the best of the worst and did not have to defeat better teams.

1994 was also not a year I think anyone really expected the team to go all the way.   The 1993/94 season was a let down after the two previous seasons.   Vancouver only managed to squeak a winning record on the season.    The first round series against Calgary was one that everyone expected the Canucks to lose, though it was a dramatic series going to seven games and seeing Vancouver prevail against all odds.

This year is the first time the Canucks are going into the playoffs with a real sense they may actually win.   We have had a season where the team showed over and over again that they could win no matter what was going on or who was injured.

Tonight will be a major test, will they make it 3-0 in the series?

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