The Stanley Cup Playoffs are just a few short days away and once again should be action packed. This year features a few teams that have not won Lord Stanley’s cup in their franchise history. Let's take a look at the top five Cup droughts among this year’s playoff bound teams. 5. San Jose Sharks
The Sharks have never won a Stanley Cup in their 21-year history as an NHL franchise. They have a handful of division championships and a Presidents’ Trophy to their name, but have never found much success in the postseason. The Sharks have made it to the conference finals three times, including the last two seasons, but have come up short. The Sharks have been seen as a good regular season team, but not in the playoffs. With a tough first round opponent in the St. Louis Blues, it’s hard to imagine this drought coming to an end.
4. Phoenix Coyotes
The Coyotes (aka former Winnipeg Jets) had plenty of success in the old World Hockey Association (WHA). They were the most successful franchise in the seven years of the leagues’ existence, winning three league championships and making the finals five of the WHA’s seven seasons. But as an NHL franchise they have yet to win the cup. They have made the playoffs the past three seasons, this year included, despite ongoing issues over ownership and possible relocation. This may be the Yotes last chance to win a Cup in Phoenix, but it will not be easy with a first round match-up with the Chicago Blackhawks. By the way, the Coyotes haven’t won a first round playoff series since 1987.
3. Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks are looking to break their cup drought this year after being the best team in the NHL for back-to-back seasons. The Canucks have been to the finals three times in their history; losing to the New York Islanders in 1982, the Rangers in 1994, and most recently losing to the Boston Bruins in seven games last season. You’d have to figure that the Canucks are the most likely team on this list to break their Stanley Cup drought.
2. Washington Capitals/Philadelphia Flyers
This one is a bit of a tie because both teams haven’t won a cup in 24 years. The capitals played their first season the same year the Flyers last won the cup (1974-1975). That was the Flyers second consecutive Stanley Cup Championship. Since then they have made six more finals appearances, with the most recent coming back in 2010 against the Blackhawks. The Caps on the other hand have yet to win a championship and have made the finals just once in their history. They were swept by the Detroit Red Wings in 1998 Stanley Cup Finals. The Caps have always been seen as a regular season powerhouse, but a playoff dud. This season the Capitals narrowly made it in and have tough series with the Boston Bruins ahead.
1. Los Angeles Kings
The last time the Kings were in the Stanley Cup Finals Barry Melrose was a rookie coach and Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille were leading the way. Now the Kings are lead by guys like Mike Richards, Jonathan Quick and Anze Kopitar, but still hunting for the franchises first cup. The team has made the playoffs the last two seasons, losing in the first round both years, and have another tough first round match-up this year with the Vancouver Canucks. It’s hard to say the Kings will break end their drought, but in the playoffs anything is possible.
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