MONTREAL - The NHL's Original Six have certainly seen it all over the years since the NHL opened for business in 1917-18. But the Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Bruins, Rangers and Blackhawks are about to make history for the wrong reasons unless one or more of them ends up cracking the postseason in a hurry.
Never. That's how often only one Original Six club has made the playoffs since the league first expanded in 1967-68. As things stand today, only the Red Wings own a playoff spot and know where they will be once the regular season ends on April 8. With the Blackhawks as the lone team without any chance of reaching the postseason in 2006-07, the Canadiens, Bruins, Leafs and Rangers are in a logjam battling for the precious few playoff berths still available in the East.
Even if only one more team joins the Red Wings in the postseason party it would mark just the third time a pair of Original Six teams qualified. The first time it happened was in 1999-00, when only the Red Wings and Maple Leafs reached the playoffs. The rare instance also occurred the following season, when the same two teams were the only ones still playing in the spring.
All Original Six teams made the playoffs only three times: in 1977-78, 1986-87 and 1993-94.
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com