Hockey’s New Anthem: No Canada

No Road To The Playoffs For Canada They’ll be dropping the puck on Wednesday night to start the National Hockey League playoffs and the 16 teams competing for the...


No Road To The Playoffs For Canada

They’ll be dropping the puck on Wednesday night to start the National Hockey League playoffs and the 16 teams competing for the Stanley Cup won’t need to show their passports during their many travels.

There will be no boarding crossings between the United States and Canada. None of the teams in the playoffs make their homes in the True North Strong and Free.

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For the first time in 46 years, the NHL playoffs are without a Canadian team. No Montreal Canadiens. No Vancouver Canucks. No Ottawa Senators. No Winnipeg Jets, no Calgary Flames, no Toronto Maple Leafs, who’ve reached the postseason just once in the last 11 seasons. And certainly no Edmonton Oilers, absent the last 10 years.

When last Canada was shut out, the league had 12 teams (1970). Now it has 30.

Since 2008, only one Canadian team has reached the Stanley Cup finals – Vancouver, in 2011. The last Canadian cup-winning team was Montreal in 1993. Five of Canada’s team made the playoffs a year ago, but a variety of circumstances – Montreal losing goalie Carey Price, an inexplicable season-long malaise affecting the Winnipeg – make the playoffs free of Canadian content.

Who should you be watching? The Washington Capitals are considered the favorites for the cup, with odds of 7-2 according to Vegasinsider.com. The Chicago Blackhawks (13-2) and Pittsburgh Penguins (15-2) are next.

NHL: JAN 16 Capitals at Sabres

When the national anthem is played before each game, it will be the Star Spangled Banner. O Canada? Sorry. No Canada.
 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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