The Original Six In The Playoffs

With the NHL season winding down it looks like for the first time in a long time every Original Six team is going to make the playoffs. The last time it happened was 1996 when the Toronto Maple Leafs were still in the Western Conference. This season the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings could all make it, however, nothing is a lock yet. Especially for the Red Wings who are in 8th place only three points up on 9th.

Having all the Original Six teams in the playoffs is good for the NHL. The O6 have a huge following all across North America. Having them all make the dance is going to help ratings. The NHL needs all the help it can get after missing the first half of the season because of their 3rd lockout in eighteen years.

We could see some classic playoff series. In recent years there hasn’t been too many Original Six playoff meetings. The combination we see the most is the Bruins vs the Canadiens and they never disappoint. Is usually the case with rivals, it doesn’t matter where either team finished in the standings, an intense, closely fought series is often played.

If the playoffs started today there would be three Original Six series in the first round. 

  1. Chicago Blackhawks vs 8. Detroit Red Wings. These two long time rivals would put on a great show. The Hawks are having a dominant season for sure, but a first round date with their foes from Detroit would be no walk in the park. The Wings still have the firepower up front to give anyone problems. Not to mention they are loaded with experienced forwards. The last time the two teams played in the playoffs was 2009 when the Red Wings beat the Hawks in the Western Conference Finals. It was a lesson the Hawks needed to learn before they went on to win the Stanley Cup in 2010.

All Time Best of Seven Series: 

Blackhawks 8

Red Wings 7

  1. Montreal Canadiens vs  7. New York Rangers. This would be a battle of blocking shots and amazing goalie saves. Habs G Carey Price and Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist are arguably the two best puck stoppers in the NHL. A first round match up between them and their historic franchises would be very low scoring and entertaining. The atmospheres in the The Bell Centre and Madison Square Garden alone would be enough to get most fans to tune in. The two clubs won back to back Stanley Cups in 1993 (Habs) and 1994 (Rangers). Since then, neither has made it back to the Stanley Cup finals. The last time these two franchises met in the playoffs was the same year the O6 teams all made the playoffs back in 1996. The Rangers won the series in six games.

All Time Best of Seven Series: 

Canadiens 7

Rangers 7

  1. Boston Bruins vs 5. Toronto Maple Leafs. The recent history between those two teams is rich in off ice transactions. Unfortunately, in recent years when they’ve played in the regular season it has lacked entertainment value, the Bruins winning most games decisively. A first round match up between the Bruins and Leafs would be a case of David vs Goliath. The last time the two legendary franchises played in the playoffs was 1974 when the Bruins swept the Leafs.

All Time Best of Seven Series: 

Maple Leafs 8

Bruins 5