Florida Panthers: 11 Years: 2001-2012
Edmonton Oilers: 10 Years: 2007-2017
Buffalo Sabres: 10 Years: 2012-Current
Detroit Red Wings: 5 Years: 2017 – Current
No, that’s not inappropriate. He’s asking for a hockey puck. Get your mind out of the gutter.
Anyway, there’s a lot of turnover in hockey. A goalie who has a career year can lead his team to the playoffs nearly on his own. Shoot, if they get hot at the right time, they can lead them to an appearance in the Stanley Cup. Another part of it, and you’ll see it in the NBA as well, is the percentage of teams that make the playoffs every year. 50% get in each year in the NHL.
The longest playoff drought in history in just 11 years for hockey. It was done by the Panthers just after the turn of the millennia. Long gone are the days of Scott Mellanby and Rob Niedermeyer, and the Rubber rats are a thing of the past. One of the most exciting expansion teams in any sport, they started hot by making it to the finals in 1996… and haven’t been good since.
As for the Oilers, they were saved by Connor McDavid. He’s been one of the best players in the NHL and is still only 25. He averages 1.416 points per game, one of the best rates… ever. The Oilers will be dangerous as long as they have him, and he’s got a real shot to approach Jagr for 2nd most points all-time.
It’s the Buffalo Sabres that hold the longest current streak, and with just 35 points (20 points back of the Wild Card) through 45 games, they are likely going to tie the Panthers for the longest streak ever. I mentioned the Red Wings as well since they have the second-longest current streak. Gone are the glory days of the Red Wings with Scotty Bowman at the head. They are one spot out of the Wild Card, and a nice post-Olympics push would give them a shot at the playoffs.
With only a handful of teams in hockey history going a decade without making the playoffs, let’s move on to the NBA. At the top is a team that shouldn’t surprise anyone.