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A Look at All 32 Team’s Playoff Success

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Jason Gregor
1 year ago
Which organization and fan base has had the most moments of playoff enjoyment in the salary cap era?
We know Pittsburgh and Chicago have won three Stanley Cups, while LA and Tampa have won twice, but how many nights did a fan base go to sleep experiencing the euphoria of a playoff victory?
Let’s dig in.
I did not include the play-in games for this. The round-robin or best of five wasn’t the same as a seven-game series, so I excluded those games.
Winning in the playoffs is difficult. Pittsburgh and Tampa have won the most games and each has won 20 series.
Boston and Chicago have won 16 series, followed by San Jose (14) the New York Rangers (13) and Detroit and Anaheim (12). The Los Angeles Kings won two Cups but have only won 10 series. They won eight series in two years, and two in the other 16 years.
But if you asked Kings fans, I’m sure they’d take that over San Jose, which won 14 series, but never won a Cup. The playoffs are equally orgasmic and devastating, depending on whether you win or lose.
The Bruins have won the most games in the first round, 50, in the cap era, and the third most series, but only one Cup. I’d argue they have been a better franchise than LA in the cap era, but LA has one more Cup.
Life in the playoffs isn’t always fair. Here is a breakdown of games won by round of all 32 teams.
TEAM1ST2ND3RD4THTOTAL
PIT44281614102
TB33302512100
BOS502512996
SJ44277280
CHI2920161277
NYR402211174
ANA341913470
WSH44184470
DET321910768
COL34124454
MTL30157153
DAL29156252
NSH32134251
LA22129851
PHI31125250
STL28126450
These are the top-16 teams. Only Dallas remains in this year’s playoffs. There is a lot of new blood remaining in the quest for the 2023 Stanley Cup.
TEAM1ST2ND3RD4THTOTAL
CAR25174449
LVK19137143
VAN23124342
OTT2398141
NYI2495038
EDM16114334
NJ2264234
BUF1384025
MIN2320025
CGY2120023
TOR2100021
FLA1520017
WPG1141016
ARI841013
CBJ1020012
SEA41005
Carolina needs two wins to move into the top half. If Vegas makes it to the Cup Final they’d secure at least 50 wins.
So far 22 of the 32 teams in the league have played in the Cup final in the 18 years of the salary cap. That is 68.75% of the league. That will increase if one of Florida, Toronto or Seattle makes it to the Final.
Only six teams (Calgary, Minnesota, Toronto, Florida, Columbus and Seattle) haven’t been to the Conference Finals in the cap era. One of Florida or Toronto will make it this year.
Toronto is the only franchise yet to win a game in the second round. Seattle, in only its second year, won game one v. Dallas three days ago. Colorado and Washington only won games in the third and fourth rounds once, but they won the Cup that season. Edmonton has one fewer win in the Conference Finals and Cup final than the Capitals and Avs, but it was in game seven of the final — so close, but also so far from winning.
While Pittsburgh has the most wins, it also has the most losses with 86, followed by NYR (85), Boston (81), San Jose (77) and Washington (75). The Capitals 74 losses make them the only team in the top-10 with more losses than wins.
And then there are game seven wins and losses. They feel sweeter, but also cut deeper. The Rangers (8-3), Carolina (6-1), Montreal (5-1), San Jose (5-2) and St. Louis (4-0) have had the most success (win to loss ratio) in game sevens.
Game 7WLGame 7WL
NYR83LVK21
CAR61MIN11
BOS68NSH12
SJ52WPG10
TB53FLA11
MTL51DAL14
PIT55NYI12
LA41EDM12
WSH48CGY12
STL40SEA10
PHI31BUF02
DET34TOR05
NJ21ARI01
ANA25OTT02
CHI23COL04
VAN22CBJ00
Boston has played in 14 game sevens since 2006. They’ve won six and lost eight. Washington is 4-8 in game sevens. But at least those fans and organizations have won a game seven. Toronto (0-5) and Colorado (0-4) have endured the most pain in game sevens. Those two, along with Arizona, Ottawa and Buffalo, haven’t won a game seven in the cap era. Columbus is the only organization that didn’t play in a game seven. However, they did win game five over Toronto in the play-in round. When you see zero second round wins and five game-seven losses, I understand why LeafsNation is so upset.
San Jose, Chicago and Anaheim won’t be adding to their playoff win totals in the coming years, as they are in rebuilds. Pittsburgh and Washington are getting older, and you wonder if they have one or two series wins left in their rosters.
The next decade should see a significant change in the rankings from some teams. Many of those who haven’t had much playoff success the past 18 years look good (on paper at least) to make some noise in the playoffs.
But nothing is guaranteed and that’s what makes the post season so wonderful every year.

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