Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Woe Canada: Canucks, Canadiens, Senators… which team is Canada’s most miserable?

There are seven NHL teams in Canada. Four of them are good, and in a few cases maybe even very good. The Oilers, Flames, Jets and Leafs are a combined 53-23-10, with all four holding down playoff spots.

The country’s other three teams are, um, not doing that. We truly are a divided nation.

The Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators are locked in a furious battle to be the country’s most embarrassing team. The Habs have already wiped out their front office, the Canucks seem to be perpetually on the verge of something similar, and the Senators are somehow worse than both of them. It’s not going great.

But which team is the country’s worst story? That’s up for debate, which is where we come in. With the Canucks facing the Habs last night and the Senators tomorrow, now seems like a good time to break down the highs and lows of the three teams in all the key categories, and see where this leads us. How bad can it get? And which team takes the crown as the worst of the worst?


We can’t tell the story of the present without laying the foundation of the past. Who’s had it worse over the decades?

Senators: The modern version of the team started with a five-year stretch where they were considered the worst expansion team ever – not just in hockey, but any sport at all. More recently, they’ve been terrible on the ice and often bizarre off of it. But in between, there was a stretch where they were consistently very good, including one trip to the final in 2007. There was also a team with the same name that won Stanley Cups a hundred years ago, which it goes without saying does not count.

Canucks: It’s been over a half a century with no championships, although they’ve had several near-misses including seven-game heartbreaks in 1994 and 2011. That makes them the only Cup-less franchise in the history of the league that’s lost a Game 7 in the final. They also spent most of the 1980s getting their teeth kicked in by the Oilers, they gave away a young Cam Neely, they signed Mark Messier, and their most memorable moment in franchise history was a riot. Other than that, mostly positive.

Canadiens: Pretty solid, I think, although I’m not sure because their fans never bring it up.

Misery ranking

I ran the numbers, and five decades of sadness beats three.

1. Canucks
2. Senators
3. Canadiens

The season so far

How’s it going everyone? Good? I’m sure it’s probably good.

Senators: They’re neck-and-neck with the Coyotes, who aren’t even trying.

Canucks: They’re dead last in the Pacific, behind the brand new expansion team and the three California teams we all agreed would be terrible.

Canadiens: They’re not in last place! (Because they’re in the same division as the Senators.)

Misery ranking

We’re two sections in and I’m already depressed.

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