Thursday, May 21, 2020

Ranking the 25 most dominant NHL teams of the past 50 years

I’ll start off by agreeing with Eric and Scotty: This is harder than it looks. There are some very good teams that you start off assuming will crack the list, only to find out that you don’t have room for them at the end. If your reaction to any of these lists is to roll your eyes that Team X absolutely has to be there, make sure you tell us which teams come off to make room. It’s tough.

That said, my list will have some significant overlap with the others, especially at the top. I part ways from my colleagues just a bit in a few ways, most notably that I’m apparently more willing to forgive a team that had a dominant season that didn’t end in a Stanley Cup. Yes, it’s nice to tell ourselves that the best team always wins and that champions will always “find a way,” whatever that means. But that’s not how hockey works, at least some of the time – we’ve all seen great teams derailed by a bad bounce or a hot goalie. I’m still willing to consider those teams among the very best ever.

So you’ll see some of those non-Cup teams show up on my list, including a few that crack my top 10. That includes a 1979-80 Flyers team that Eric and Scott both snubbed; I have them ranked seventh, because I’m not sure what’s more dominant than going nearly half a season without anyone beating you. (And only losing the final to a dynasty in the making thanks to a blown offside call helps their case.) Similarly, the 1992-93 Penguins are the only team from the Mario era on my list, because they were by far the best team in the league before losing an epic Game 7 upset in which their second-leading scorer got hurt.

I felt no obligation to limit how many times a team could show up, which means my list is clogged with Habs, Oilers and Red Wings. That doesn’t leave as much room as I’d like for other teams, but true dominance is rarely a one-year wonder. And one last thing: My list is going to be extremely heavy with teams from the pre-cap era, because Gary Bettman loves parity, and parity is the antithesis of dominance.

Here’s my list.

>> Read the full post at The Athletic

(Want to read this post on The Athletic for free? Sign up for a free 90-day trial.)

No comments:

Post a Comment