MONTREAL – Put down the calculators and close up those Excel spreadsheets – the Habs are officially going to the dance.
While there’s still one big game left on the schedule, thanks to the Flyers’ win over the Rangers on Friday night, the Habs will be heading to the postseason for the fourth time in the past five years.
By clinching a coveted berth in this years’ Spring Fling, the Canadiens will be participating in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 80th time in the team’s 100-year history – and the league-record 78th time since the NHL’s inaugural season in 1917. Far off in the Canadiens’ rear-view mirror, Toronto was sitting second all-time for playoff appearances with 64. Meanwhile, as the Leafs get set to watch postseason from the comfort of their living rooms for a fifth-straight year, the Bruins will overtake the Buds, vying for the Cup for the 65th time in franchise history.
Since 2005-06, a precious few teams can boast having played springtime hockey as often as the Canadiens. In fact, coming out of the lockout, only the Red Wings, Devils and Sharks have made it into the “second season” every year. After dropping the crucial outing on Friday night, the Rangers fell within a single win of making the playoffs for the fifth time in five years, while the Ducks – who hadn’t missed the postseason since 2006 – have already started booking their tee times for April 12.
Other than the playoff-bound Habs, only four other teams now have a lock on membership in the four-in-five-years club at the moment including the Flyers, who nabbed one of the final berths in the East with their win over the Rangers. See also:The playoff raceBulldogs report - April 7, 2010 Subban staring at a bright future Out of the shadows