These teams keep knocking, but just can’t win (the Stanley Cup)

Vegas and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury lost in the Stanley Cup final in Year 1. Life is tough for Vegas fans. (DIRK SHADD | Times)
Vegas and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury lost in the Stanley Cup final in Year 1. Life is tough for Vegas fans. (DIRK SHADD | Times)
Published October 5

Some of the NHL teams that have rap, rap, rapped on the door but have never broken through (or it has been a while) to win the Stanley Cup:

Toronto Maple Leafs

Technically, they shouldn't count, since they have won the Stanley Cup 13 times. But they haven't lifted it since 1967. Or come close. Toronto has officially begun its second half-century of Cup futility, though the addition of John Tavares might change that dynamic. We'll believe it when we see it.

St. Louis Blues

The expansion team made three Cup finals right out of the box, 1967-69, and was promptly swept by Montreal and Boston (see Orr, Robert). Despite a 25-year streak of playoff appearances at one point, the Blues still have never won a game in the Cup final and have been to only three conference finals the past 48 years.

Buffalo Sabres

They have had some powerhouses over the years, from the Gilbert Perreault team that made the 1975 Cup final in just the franchise's fifth season to the Dominik Hasek team that lost in OT to Dallas in the 1999 final.

Vancouver Canucks

They were upstarts when they dabbled with destiny twice, in 1982 (lost Cup final to Islanders) and 1994 (lost Cup final to Rangers). It's when the Canucks rose to the top of the league, behind big stars (including the Sedin brothers) that things got complicated. Vancouver had the most points in the league in consecutive seasons (2010-11, 2011-12) but lost in seven games to Boston in the final in 2011 before being ousted in the first round of the playoffs the following season by eventual Cup winner Los Angeles.

San Jose Sharks

As one hockey publication put it, "They were Washington before Washington was Washington." Sharks history is filled with failed Cup attempts. They have had seven 100-point seasons since 2008-09 but have never finished the job, wasting a superstar (Joe Thornton) and one league-leading, 117-point season, as well as blowing a 3-0 lead to Los Angeles in 2014 before losing to Pittsburgh in the 2016 Cup final.

Ottawa Senators

The talented team had an open window for several seasons, including 2003, when they lost to New Jersey in the Cup final, and 2007, when they lost to Anaheim in the final, and 2017, when they lost to Pittsburgh in the conference final.

Nashville Predators

It took them forever to get out of the first round in the playoffs, only to fall to Pittsburgh in the 2017 final. The Predators still look like a contender, but despite a Cup-caliber defense and goaltender, despite winning the Presidents' Trophy last season, they were eliminated by Winnipeg in the second round of the 2018 playoffs.

Vegas Golden Knights

In first season, lost to Washington in the Cup final. The wait goes on.

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