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Cup droughts: a statistical analysis

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Old
07-11-2011, 05:47 PM
  #1
Singularity
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Cup droughts: a statistical analysis

Hello all!

Now that the hubbub over the draft and free agent day has died down, it's time for what we do best: pointless number crunching!

I've seen it quite a number of posts bemoaning the Habs' Cup drought recently, and I wondered how well they compare to the rest of the league. As an afterthought, I wondered how they compared to teams that existed in 1993. (Obviously, a franchise that wasn't there in 1993 is going to have a shorter Cup drought than the Habs will, no matter what, and is therefore not that good a measuring tool.)

Here is what I found out:

Franchises that have won Stanley Cups, organised by expansion eras (teams that had a franchise in 1993 are in bold)

Bruins (2011)
Hawks (2010)
Pens 3 (2009, 1992, 1991)
Wings 4 (2008, 2002, 1998, 1997)
Ducks (2007)
Canes (2006)
None (2005)
Lightning (2004)
Devils 3 (2003, 2000, 1995)
Avalanche 2 (2001, 1996)
Stars (1999)
Rangers (1994)
Canadiens (1993)

90-91_____________

Oilers 5 (1990, 1988, 1987, 1985, 1984)
Flames (1989)
Canadiens (1986)
Islanders 4 (1980-1983)

79-80_____________

Canadiens 8 (1976-1979, 1973, 1971, 1969, 1968)
Flyers 2 (1974, 1975)
Bruins 2 (1972, 1970)

67-68____________

Maple Leafs (1967)
...

42-43____________
...
Points of interest:

- While Pittsburgh's early 90's Cups are thrown into the modern era, I remember a bit of those years and I'd argue they were in fact the last dynasty of the dynastic 80's. That stunner against the NYI in 93 deprived them of the Cup to prove it, but ask anyone around that time and there's no doubt they were in that mold.
- I can barely imagine how frustrating watching hockey and looking at those Cup-winning dynasties has been for, say, a Sabres, Kings or Blues fan in the 70's and 80's.

Years since end of initial season or last Stanley Cup (franchise):

Anaheim Ducks: 4 (2007)
Boston Bruins: 0 (2011)
Buffalo Sabres: 40 (1971)
Calgary Flames (Atlanta Flames) : 22 (1989)
Carolina Hurricanes (Hartford Whalers) : 5 (2006)
Chicago Blackhawks: 1 (2010)
Colorado Avalanche (Quebec Nordiques) : 10 (2001)
Columbus Blue Jackets: 14 (1997)
Dallas Stars (Oakland Seals / Cleveland Barons / Minnesota North Stars) : 12 (1999)
Detroit Red Wings: 3 (2008)
Edmonton Oilers: 21 (1990)
Florida Panthers: 17 (1994)
Los Angeles Kings: 43 (1968)
Minnesota Wild: 10 (2001)
Montreal Canadiens:18 (1993)
Nashville Predators: 12 (1999)
New Jersey Devils (Kansas City Scouts / Colorado Rockies) : 8 (2003)
New York Islanders: 28 (1983)
New York Rangers: 17 (1994)
Ottawa Senators (modern): 18 (1993)
Philadelphia Flyers: 36 (1975)
Phoenix Coyotes (Winnipeg Jets): 31 (1980)
Pittsburgh Penguins: 2 (2009)
San Jose Sharks: 19 (1992)
Saint Louis Blues: 43 (1968)
Tampa Bay Lightning: 7 (2004)
Toronto Maple Leafs: 44 (1967)
Vancouver Canucks: 40 (1971)
Washington Capitals: 36 (1975)
Winnipeg Jets (Atlanta Thrashers): 11 (2000)

Average cup drought: (existing franchises in 1992-1993): 21 years (504/24 = 21)
Average cup drought (all teams): 19 years (572/30 = 19,067)
Median cup drought: (existing franchises in 1992-1993): 18 years (Montreal / Ottawa)
Median cup drought: (all teams): 17 years (Florida / NY Rangers)

Points of interest:

The average cup drought will worsten next year unless Buffalo, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Saint Louis, Toronto, Vancouver or Washington win the cup.

Montreal's cup drought will actually keep pace with the "1993-franchise" drought average or catch up to it, even if they don't win the Cup, if Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Carolina or any other franchise that didn't exist in 1993 win the Cup next year.

You could also mention that these numbers would be much higher if the Blackhawks and Bruins hadn't just ended two lenghty Cup droughts two years running, though the counterpoint to that is that it's irrelevant since they did indeed do it.

Years a modern winner (since 1993) had to wait for their last Cup since end of initial season or previous Stanley Cup:

Bruins: 39 years (1972-2011)
Hawks: 49 years (1961-2011)
Pens: 17 years (1992-2009)
Wings: 6 years (2002-2008)
Ducks: 13 years (1994-2007)
Canes (Whalers): 26 years (1980-2006)
Lightning: 11 years (1993-2004)
Devils (Scouts/Rockies): 3 years (2003-2000)
Avalanche (Nordiques): 5 years (2001-1996)
Stars (/North Stars/Barons/Seals): 31 years (1999-1968)
Rangers: 54 years (1940-1994)
Canadiens: 7 years (1986-1993)

Average (existing franchises in 1993): 23 years
Average (all modern cup winners): 22 years
Median (existing franchises in 1993): 17 years (Pittsburgh)
Median (all modern cup winners): 13 years / 17 years (Pittsburgh/Anaheim)

Points of interest:

Not much, I was just curious, really.

Conclusions

The Habs' Cup drought seems a bit better than average, when compared to other teams that existed in 1993, which is pretty much what I expected.

To me, the charts show that there's really three kinds of teams as far as Cup wins are concerned: the modern winners, the long sufferers and a small group that managed to grab a few Cups in eras which were dominated first by dynasties, then by the Detroit/Colorado/New Jersey triumvirate. The Habs, obviously, are in that last block.

As to whether it is acceptable for the Habs to be an "average" team as far as Cups are concerned, I'm not touching that one with Hal Gill's stick!


Last edited by Singularity: 07-11-2011 at 09:25 PM. Reason: Fixed Vancouver mistake
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Old
07-11-2011, 06:17 PM
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The Pleks Dispenser
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nicely done

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Old
07-11-2011, 06:20 PM
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Vancouver didnt come in the league in 1968 but in 1970... along with the Sabres and both of them has never won the stanley cup.

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07-11-2011, 08:32 PM
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Singularity
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My mistake... that will change the numbers a bit, though not that much I expect.

I'll post updated numbers soon.

(Obviously, neither won a Cup, so no changes there)

Edit: fixed! Please note that all numbers indicated are the year of the *end* of either the Cup-winning season or the inaugural season of the franchise. I considered teams were not in a Cup drought until they had played at least a full season.


Last edited by Singularity: 07-11-2011 at 08:41 PM.
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07-11-2011, 10:09 PM
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Thanks for this, it was an interesting read.

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07-11-2011, 11:15 PM
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Kriss E
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You're on the Habs board...Statistical analysis mean nothing.
We are the Habs, we should be winning it every few of years.

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07-12-2011, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Singularity View Post
Hello all!


Oilers 5 (1990, 1988, 1987, 1985, 1984)

Islanders 4 (1980-1983)

Canadiens 8 (1976-1979, 1973, 1971, 1969, 1968)

- I can barely imagine how frustrating watching hockey and looking at those Cup-winning dynasties has been for, say, a Sabres, Kings or Blues fan in the 70's and 80's.

Years since end of initial season or last Stanley Cup (franchise):


Edmonton Oilers: 21 (1990)

Montreal Canadiens:18 (1993)

New York Islanders: 28 (1983)

The Habs' Cup drought seems a bit better than average, when compared to other teams that existed in 1993, which is pretty much what I expected.
See above. The Dynasty Curse. The last three teams to win 3 in a row or more, have waited a long time for another. At least Habs gave us 2 more after 79...

I'd hate to be an Oilers or Isles fan. They probably never imagined droughts this long after their last one.

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07-12-2011, 05:30 AM
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See above. The Dynasty Curse. The last three teams to win 3 in a row or more, have waited a long time for another. At least Habs gave us 2 more after 79...

I'd hate to be an Oilers or Isles fan. They probably never imagined droughts this long after their last one.
Sorry to quote myself...

The scary thing is the Habs in the sixties almost won more than 5 in a row I think...

and the Oil could have won 7 in a row in the 80's very easily...Steve Smith in 86, thank god, and I forget how they lost in 89 to Calgary...

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07-12-2011, 07:12 AM
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I have nothing personal against the OP but I think his analysis is useless trivia and has no bearing on the present. Personnel change so much that a 2011-12 team has nothing in common with a 2001-2002 team but the name and city (and in some cases even that has changed).

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07-12-2011, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Teufelsdreck View Post
I have nothing personal against the OP but I think his analysis is useless trivia and has no bearing on the present. Personnel change so much that a 2011-12 team has nothing in common with a 2001-2002 team but the name and city (and in some cases even that has changed).
I don't believe the OP is at all trying to say it has any bearing on the present. All he's trying to say is it isn't as big a drought as people are saying. It's about average.

Who cares what bearing it has? It has no bearing. Long story short though fans are reacting over nothing. There's a salary cap now and a real draft. There are 30 teams not 6. People need to wake up and realize management wants to win. They sell out the stands whether or not they win. But they are hired to win and not only that they really want to. Sometimes one of the other 29 teams in the league beats you though, it happens. You can't always be the best team in a 30 team salary cap world. People need to wake up and realize they'd be doing no better themselves at running this team. In fact far worse more likely.

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07-12-2011, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by neofury View Post
I don't believe the OP is at all trying to say it has any bearing on the present. All he's trying to say is it isn't as big a drought as people are saying. It's about average.

Who cares what bearing it has? It has no bearing. Long story short though fans are reacting over nothing. There's a salary cap now and a real draft. There are 30 teams not 6. People need to wake up and realize management wants to win. They sell out the stands whether or not they win. But they are hired to win and not only that they really want to. Sometimes one of the other 29 teams in the league beats you though, it happens. You can't always be the best team in a 30 team salary cap world. People need to wake up and realize they'd be doing no better themselves at running this team. In fact far worse more likely.
Everyone knows there are 30 NHL teams and an average drought is a meaningless concept that has no predictive value for sports oddsmakers. If I were making predictions, I would look at a team's preceding few drafts as well as recent trades and free agent signings. That might have provided foresight that the Blackhawks had a realistic shot at winning the Cup in 2010 or the Penguins in 2009 but it wouldn't have been as good a predictor for the Bruins in 2011 because their one high pick, Tyler Seguin, didn't have the impact of Crosby, Malkin, Toews, or Kane (not to mention Stamkos).

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07-12-2011, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Teufelsdreck View Post
Everyone knows there are 30 NHL teams and an average drought is a meaningless concept that has no predictive value for sports oddsmakers. If I were making predictions, I would look at a team's preceding few drafts as well as recent trades and free agent signings. That might have provided foresight that the Blackhawks had a realistic shot at winning the Cup in 2010 or the Penguins in 2009 but it wouldn't have been as good a predictor for the Bruins in 2011 because their one high pick, Tyler Seguin, didn't have the impact of Crosby, Malkin, Toews, or Kane (not to mention Stamkos).
Hey we aren't here to make bets or odds, he's just bringing up the interesting point that our cup drought isn't something out of the ordinary, it's pretty much the average. If you feel it's meaningless you're simply missing the point.

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07-12-2011, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teufelsdreck View Post
Everyone knows there are 30 NHL teams and an average drought is a meaningless concept that has no predictive value for sports oddsmakers. If I were making predictions, I would look at a team's preceding few drafts as well as recent trades and free agent signings. That might have provided foresight that the Blackhawks had a realistic shot at winning the Cup in 2010 or the Penguins in 2009 but it wouldn't have been as good a predictor for the Bruins in 2011 because their one high pick, Tyler Seguin, didn't have the impact of Crosby, Malkin, Toews, or Kane (not to mention Stamkos).
He didn't write this to make predictions. I think it was just to put things into perspective a little more. A lot of people whine about our drought, but when you look at the rest, you notice that the Habs are far from being in the worst one. That doesn't mean we should be satisfied with where we are, or wtv, but just goes to show that droughts, long ones, are very common.

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07-12-2011, 12:21 PM
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Well, I did say this was pointless, right there in the first line...

More seriously, Teufelsdreck, you bring up a good point that I hadn't made forcefully enough in the initial post because I didn't realize it was needed: this means absolutely nothing as a predictive tool, and even less now in the post-cap era.

Neither the Habs, the Leafs or any other teams are "due" a Cup because they haven't won one in a long time. That's the kind of fallacy that makes you lose all your money at the casino.

Other much more established posters have already come to the defense of my post much better than I could so I'll just add this, which is a bit of a tangent, being my opinion rather than fact-based, but still: in my opinion, dynasties went out the window with expansion and the introduction of the 1-8 format for playoffs, and the cap slammed the door shut. In the long term, unless something happens to skew the playing field again, even the best managed and most profitable teams will have, in the long run (say, a couple of centuries) a 1/20 Cup-per-season played ratio or thereabouts.

A Cup run just depends on too many variables (a healthy team at the right time, a hot goalie, etc.) for any team to win Cups more reliably. So, let's cherish the memories of the Cups we did have, because there's no telling what the future holds.

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07-13-2011, 03:49 AM
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Well, I did say this was pointless, right there in the first line...

More seriously, Teufelsdreck, you bring up a good point that I hadn't made forcefully enough in the initial post because I didn't realize it was needed: this means absolutely nothing as a predictive tool, and even less now in the post-cap era.

Neither the Habs, the Leafs or any other teams are "due" a Cup because they haven't won one in a long time. That's the kind of fallacy that makes you lose all your money at the casino.

Other much more established posters have already come to the defense of my post much better than I could so I'll just add this, which is a bit of a tangent, being my opinion rather than fact-based, but still: in my opinion, dynasties went out the window with expansion and the introduction of the 1-8 format for playoffs, and the cap slammed the door shut. In the long term, unless something happens to skew the playing field again, even the best managed and most profitable teams will have, in the long run (say, a couple of centuries) a 1/20 Cup-per-season played ratio or thereabouts.

A Cup run just depends on too many variables (a healthy team at the right time, a hot goalie, etc.) for any team to win Cups more reliably. So, let's cherish the memories of the Cups we did have, because there's no telling what the future holds.
but, then why do you accept mediocrity?

edit, sry, shoudl have added


Last edited by MasterDecoy: 07-13-2011 at 04:17 AM.
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07-13-2011, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Singularity View Post
Hello all!

Now that the hubbub over the draft and free agent day has died down, it's time for what we do best: pointless number crunching!

I've seen it quite a number of posts bemoaning the Habs' Cup drought recently, and I wondered how well they compare to the rest of the league. As an afterthought, I wondered how they compared to teams that existed in 1993. (Obviously, a franchise that wasn't there in 1993 is going to have a shorter Cup drought than the Habs will, no matter what, and is therefore not that good a measuring tool.)





Conclusions

The Habs' Cup drought seems a bit better than average, when compared to other teams that existed in 1993, which is pretty much what I expected.

To me, the charts show that there's really three kinds of teams as far as Cup wins are concerned: the modern winners, the long sufferers and a small group that managed to grab a few Cups in eras which were dominated first by dynasties, then by the Detroit/Colorado/New Jersey triumvirate. The Habs, obviously, are in that last block.

As to whether it is acceptable for the Habs to be an "average" team as far as Cups are concerned, I'm not touching that one with Hal Gill's stick!
A fun post. Flawed of course because the number of teams has changed drastically the last 40 years.

What will be valid and interesting is to do this analysis when the NHL has had about 30 teams for 30 years.

In theory, every team has a 1/30 chance every year. (In reality of course this is false) If you win one in thirty, you're making the odds. 2 in 30 or more, you're beating the odds. None in 30, loser time...

How long have we had about 30 teams?

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07-13-2011, 10:22 AM
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A fun post. Flawed of course because the number of teams has changed drastically the last 40 years.

What will be valid and interesting is to do this analysis when the NHL has had about 30 teams for 30 years.

In theory, every team has a 1/30 chance every year. (In reality of course this is false) If you win one in thirty, you're making the odds. 2 in 30 or more, you're beating the odds. None in 30, loser time...

How long have we had about 30 teams?
Of course a 1/30 assumption is false--not than anyone on this forum really thinks it's true. Human intervention overrides simplistic statistics. There still are chronic winners and losers (in the sense of making or missing the playoffs) despite the introduction of a draft in which teams pick in inverse order of their finish in the preceding season. Not only that, but a team's balance sheet still plays a major role despite the introduction of a salary cap and revenue sharing. Some owners still feast on unearned income.

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07-13-2011, 08:34 PM
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Current Vegas odds to win the cup

ODDS TO WIN THE 2012 NHL STANLEY CUP

Vancouver 6/1
Pittsburgh 7/1
Philadelphia 9/1
Washington 10/1
Boston 10/1
Chicago 12/1
Detroit 12/1
Los Angeles 12/1
San Jose 12/1
Tampa Bay 12/1
Montreal 20/1
Nashville 25/1
Anaheim 25/1
Buffalo 30/1
New Jersey 30/1
Phoenix 30/1
Calgary 35/1
Carolina 35/1
Dallas 40/1
N.Y. Rangers 40/1
St. Louis 40/1
Toronto 50/1
WIN JETS 50/1
Minnesota 60/1
Edmonton 65/1
Colorado 65/1
Ottawa 65/1
Columbus 75/1
N.Y. Islanders 80/1
Florida 125/1

Habs are 11th at 20/1 - note theses odds are lower in order to increase the sports book profit and are about 10% understated - ie 20/1 is really about 22/1. LA at 12/1 is a little high, but that's probably due to local kings fans betting on them. Philly at 10/1 is high as well given their youth movement.

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07-14-2011, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Teufelsdreck View Post
I have nothing personal against the OP but I think his analysis is useless trivia and has no bearing on the present. Personnel change so much that a 2011-12 team has nothing in common with a 2001-2002 team but the name and city (and in some cases even that has changed).
OK, so what is it you propose. Ignore all stats?

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07-14-2011, 09:20 AM
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Teufelsdreck
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OK, so what is it you propose. Ignore all stats?
What's your point? I don't ignore all stats, just those that don't contain useful information. The OP's stats are devoid of analysis. All his compilation does is state that such-and-such team won in X years. Would this help JM improve his tactical approach or PG refine his personnel selection or the fans gain deeper understanding of the game? Not at all.

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