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Best Teams Never to Win the Stanley Cup

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11-26-2012, 01:14 AM
  #1
Ziggy Stardust
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Best Teams Never to Win the Stanley Cup

The first team that comes to mind is the Gretzky led Kings. Any team that had Gretzky on it during the prime of his career should have been considered Cup champions at the time, and while the Kings did significantly improve with Gretzky, it seemed as though they were just never able to find success in the playoffs, save for 1993.

The Kings reached the playoffs in 5 of the 8 seasons with Gretzky (and he was dealt in his 8th season with the team). They advanced to the 2nd round in four of those occasions, with one Conference Finals and Stanley Cup appearance. Ironically, they were eliminated by the Oilers in three consecutive years (1990, 1991, 1992) with the Kings getting the better of the Oilers only once, and that was in a grueling 7 game series in 1989. The other team that comes to mind is the 1993 Penguins. They were considered the Cup favorites and were set to threepeat, until they ran into an overachieving Islanders team that somehow managed to push the Pens to 7 games.

The mid-late 90s era Philadelphia Flyers were another squad that was considered among the best of its time and considering what they gave up for him, they were a team that was supposed to contend for a Cup with Lindros leading the way. The Flyers lost in the Conference Finals to the eventual Cup Champion New Jersey Devils in their first playoff appearance during the Lindros era. The following year they were eliminated in the 2nd round in 6 games by the Florida Panthers who would eventually go on to play in the Cup Finals.

In 96-97, Lindros and the Flyers would blow by the competition by defeating the Penguins, Sabres, and Rangers in 5 games. They would then get swept by the Red Wings in the Cup Finals and from that point on, Lindros would only appear in 7 more playoff games for the Flyers (5 games in the 98 playoffs and only 2 games in 2000) before his ugly departure from the team.

What are some of the other teams that were considered to be among the best to never lift the Stanley Cup?

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11-26-2012, 01:42 AM
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Killion
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Vancouver in 94, though it certainly wasnt a sure thing insofar as the prognosticators & pundits were concerned, unlike 2011, 10 & 09 when they got shocked out of their socks by Boston & Chicago.... and speaking of the Black Hawks, those powerhouse teams of the 60's were almost every fall Cup favourites, yet maddeningly just werent quite able to put it all together when it really counted.

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11-26-2012, 01:54 AM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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The 1980s Flyers come to mind. Lost twice in the finals to Edmonton.

In more recent times, the late 90s Blues, early 00s Senators and Sharks.

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11-26-2012, 01:57 AM
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Late '70s Boston Bruins
Late '70s/early '80s Buffalo Sabres

As close as it was in 1979 (semifinal), Boston just couldn't beat Montreal. The Sabres might have fared better, if they had gotten the chance; they used to beat the Habs fairly often during the regular season (in the 1970s), I think. Then again, playoffs are playoffs and if you can't get past NY Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers etc.... still, I like both teams.

Not really the issue here, but the early '70s Bruins probably should've won more.


Last edited by VMBM: 11-26-2012 at 04:23 AM.
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11-26-2012, 02:02 AM
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Rhiessan71
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The 1971 Bruins is quite easily the first name to pop into my head.
121 points, a record setting 399 GF, a mere 207GA only to be denied by a rookie Ken Dryden, in one of the best performances in a single series ever.

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11-26-2012, 02:04 AM
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03/04 Avalanche team. Probably the one of the best teams on paper. It's a shame Kariya and Selanne didn't do so well there, and lack of goaltending due to Roy retiring and some coaching issues.

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11-26-2012, 02:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
The 1971 Bruins is quite easily the first name to pop into my head. 121 points, a record setting 399 GF, a mere 207GA only to be denied by a rookie Ken Dryden, in one of the best performances in a single series ever.
Yepp. And in Game 2 of that series, heading into the third down 5-2, Montreal pulled one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the game. That 399 GF was 100 more than the previous record, the season Esposito scored 76 and assisted on 76 more. Still gives me to chills to recall Ken Drydens performances against Boston & later Chicago. Talk about the Birth of a Legend. Until that date, the best I'd seen was Sawchuk in 67, Crozier in 64, 65 & 66.

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11-26-2012, 02:27 AM
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nobody mentioned 1995/1996 Detroit Red Wings? Shame on you.
131 points, 62 wins (that a record, isn't it?), 325:181

lost in Conference Finals to Colorado Avalanche 2:4

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11-26-2012, 04:25 AM
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Hawks and Rangers

Early seventies Hawks with Esposito, Stapleton, White, Mikita, Hull and a good supporting cast.

Rangers with Park and Ratelle in the first half of the seventies.

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11-26-2012, 07:27 AM
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What about the 1983 Oilers? Swept almost all of their opponents on the way to the finals but didn't win a single game against the Islanders.

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11-26-2012, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The 1980s Flyers come to mind. Lost twice in the finals to Edmonton.

In more recent times, the late 90s Blues, early 00s Senators and Sharks.
80's Flyers and more specifically 87'. Took a dynasty to game 7 without their top goal scorer Tim Kerr. Most finals vs dynasty teams are over quick. Who else gave the oilers a run in the finals?

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11-26-2012, 08:43 AM
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A few of the teams mentioned were probably not favourites, and a few was'nt the only favourites. The Chicago Black Hawks of the sixties were not a powerhose in the regular season, and while they might should have been able to pull a minor upset one of the years i think one would have to go look at it season by season to see how the power-balance were. The beginning of the next decade they were better though, although that happened to coinside with the rise of the Bruins.
Flyers in the eighties no-one could demand a cup from since it was during the Oliers dynasty. The 1995-96 Red Wings is a good challenger here, altough they came up against a somewhat good Joe Sakic in the conference finals that year. ^^ my belowed Penguins in 1992-93 had everything lined up for them and might get my vote at the moment. I guess the Oilers in 86 is a good one too, we should actually have a poll about this when we have gotten a few more candidates in.


Last edited by Darth Yoda: 11-26-2012 at 08:50 AM.
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11-26-2012, 09:02 AM
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Ottawa against Anaheim?

That Pizza line looked poised for a cup.

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11-26-2012, 11:12 AM
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in recent memory, i think the 95 and 96 Red Wings.

and I also really liked the 93 and 94 Maple Leafs

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11-26-2012, 11:44 AM
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1995-96 Red Wings, absolutely.

Two of the top centers in the league (Fedorov 107 pts, Selke. Yzerman 95 pts, third in Selke voting); three of the top six defensemen in the league based on Norris and AS voting. The second best goalie in the league based on Vezina and AS voting. That doesn't even account for Primeau, Kozlov, and Larionov - who would make a solid top-three forwards if you take Yzerman and Fedorov away.

Absolutely ridiculous team; the fact that they didn't win the Cup is still completely stunning.

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11-26-2012, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guffaw View Post
80's Flyers and more specifically 87'. Took a dynasty to game 7 without their top goal scorer Tim Kerr. Most finals vs dynasty teams are over quick. Who else gave the oilers a run in the finals?
Kerr was far less important to that team than any of Howe/McCrimmon/Hextall.

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11-26-2012, 11:50 AM
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Bruins in 88-90.. Those oilers teams we're just too good and they we're always a piece or two away from a cup. Well more like 3 or 4 once they went against the oilers but ya get what I mean.

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11-26-2012, 11:53 AM
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The 96 Blues

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11-26-2012, 12:23 PM
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What about the '79-80 Flyers? A team that goes 35 games without losing should be a Cup favorite

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11-26-2012, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
The first team that comes to mind is the Gretzky led Kings. Any team that had Gretzky on it during the prime of his career should have been considered Cup champions at the time, and while the Kings did significantly improve with Gretzky, it seemed as though they were just never able to find success in the playoffs, save for 1993.
They were a weak team outside of a few stars. Particularly defensively. Even Gretzky could only do so much.


Quote:
In 96-97, Lindros and the Flyers would blow by the competition by defeating the Penguins, Sabres, and Rangers in 5 games. They would then get swept by the Red Wings in the Cup Finals and from that point on, Lindros would only appear in 7 more playoff games for the Flyers (5 games in the 98 playoffs and only 2 games in 2000) before his ugly departure from the team.

What are some of the other teams that were considered to be among the best to never lift the Stanley Cup?
If they had a bit more depth besides the Legion of Doom, they probably would have won a Cup.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhiessan71 View Post
The 1971 Bruins is quite easily the first name to pop into my head.
121 points, a record setting 399 GF, a mere 207GA only to be denied by a rookie Ken Dryden, in one of the best performances in a single series ever.
Ya, they were the Oilers before the Oilers but got shut down at the worst time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine Bluff Variant View Post
What about the 1983 Oilers? Swept almost all of their opponents on the way to the finals but didn't win a single game against the Islanders.
Yup, a lot of people had them as favourites too. The Isles schooled them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Guffaw View Post
80's Flyers and more specifically 87'. Took a dynasty to game 7 without their top goal scorer Tim Kerr. Most finals vs dynasty teams are over quick. Who else gave the oilers a run in the finals?
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The 1980s Flyers come to mind. Lost twice in the finals to Edmonton.
Big time. 1987 was one of the best finals I've ever seen if not the best.

The 87 Flyers were as close to a Cup as you can get without winning and it came against one of the best teams of all time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eva unit zero View Post
Kerr was far less important to that team than any of Howe/McCrimmon/Hextall.
I know it is fashionable lately to tear players down around here, but Kerr was an important part of the Flyers and a perennial 50 goal man at the time.

He most definitely could have be the difference in the Flyers favour during that series.

By the way, you forgot Dave Poulin.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jack mullet View Post
in recent memory, i think the 95 and 96 Red Wings.

and I also really liked the 93 and 94 Maple Leafs
Yeah the Wings peaked up pretty high before revamping for the dead puck era and eventual success, that's for sure.

I love those Leaf teams and I feel they overachieved hugely compared to how they looked on paper just because they played so well together. On paper I'm not sure they were a "best team never to win the Cup" unless you count their chemistry and coaching.

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11-26-2012, 03:15 PM
  #21
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I don't know if this is me being a homer or not, but I can think of three times the Flyers were good enough to win a Cup but didn't do it. Their 09-10 Finals run was probably their weakest overall team to take a shot at the Cup since they basically had a pile of meat in goal.

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11-26-2012, 03:17 PM
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Just to put a spin on this, the best FRANCHISE to never win the Cup is St. Louis, right?

But to answer the actual question, 1971 Boston was the first to come to mind.

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11-26-2012, 03:26 PM
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If you are looking at individual seasons I would say the 1986 Oilers, 1993 Pens, 1971 Bruins, 1930 Bruins and 1996 Red Wings. But I get the feeling the OP is asking which teams never won it. All of those teams won it either the year before the year after or both.

So if I am picking one team that had a nice run but never won it I may just go with the early 1970s Rangers. They started getting good in the late 1960s. They had Ratelle, Gilbert and Hadfield for the GAG line. Park on defense and Giacomin in net. Supplementary guys like Walt Tkazcuk as well. For some reason this team sticks out for me. Lots of Hall of Famers, made a final in 1972 and for three years in a row beat the defending Cup champs (1972-'74).

Got to give credit to Boston as well in the late 1970s. I give them a lot of respect since no one ever came that close unseating the Habs at that time. They were more or less one game breaker away that could equal Lafleur.

For some reasons I've just never "felt" it with the 1980s Flyers. I don't know, maybe a lack of top end talent is the reason. I'll give them props for taking the Oilers to 7 in 1987 though

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11-26-2012, 03:29 PM
  #24
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1995/96 Red-Wings ad the 2010/11 Canucks are pretty cut and dry examples here.

In 96 Detroit had 62 wins I believe and this was before Nashville and Columbus were around to feast on for gimmee points those first few years.

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11-26-2012, 03:43 PM
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The Blue in 2000 I think. They were amazing. Pronger in his prime I thought they would waltz to the cup.

Ottawa in the early 2000's too. They were stacked. I think if the lockout in 04/05 wouldn't have happened, the Sens would win the cup.

The Canucks in 2011 dominated the regular season.

Colorado with Kariya and Selanne ran into injury problems and had a terrible coach. They never had a chance.

If San Jose can't get it done with the crop of talent they have had over the years they will be in the running for sure.

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