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#NHLStats Pack: 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs Cheat Sheet

The 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs open April 20th, the start of a two-month rollercoaster of upsets, overtime games, unsung heroes, and memorable moments. Whether you are wondering which fanbase has waited the longest for a Stanley Cup, what veteran you should root for or what players can climb NHL all-time lists this postseason, the #NHLStats team has you covered with a quick-hit cheat sheet.

Which of this year’s playoff teams have waited the longest to win the Stanley Cup?
The Maple Leafs are looking to win the Stanley Cup for the first time in the expansion era (since 1967-68), with their last championship coming 57 years ago – already the longest wait in NHL history. In addition to Toronto, five other teams have gone 30+ years without a championship:

Toronto (57 years; last 1967)
Vancouver (53 years; yet to win)
NY Islanders (41 years; last 1983)
Edmonton (34 years; last 1990)
Florida (30 years; yet to win)
NY Rangers (30 years; last 1994)

Which playoff teams have won the most series in the last five years?
Six teams have won at least six playoff series over the past five years, including three on that list that have won the Stanley Cup.

11 – Tampa Bay (SC in 2020 & 2021)
8 – Vegas (SC in 2023)
7 – Colorado (SC in 2022)
7 – Carolina
6 – Dallas
6 – NY Islanders

Do Wild Card teams have a shot?
At least one Wild Card team has advanced out of the First Round in six of the eight years under that format, including multiple teams three times in a single postseason. In 2018-19, all four Wild Card teams made it into the Second Round. While no Wild Card team has gone on to win the Stanley Cup, two have advanced to the Final: Panthers (2023) and Predators (2017).

Is it unusual for Vegas to be in Wild Card 2 position after winning the Stanley Cup?
In the expansion era (since 1967-68), three Stanley Cup champions have entered the following postseason as the lowest seed in their conference: Rangers (1994 to 1995), Lightning (2004 to 2006) and Blackhawks (2010 to 2011). Of that group, only the Rangers made it out of the opening round.

Need a veteran to root for? Here are the players in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs with the most regular-season games played that have not won the Stanley Cup.
1,444 GP – Ryan Suter (DAL)
1,415 GP – Brent Burns (CAR)
1,332 GP – Joe Pavelski (DAL)
1,253 GP – Zach Parise (COL)
1,148 GP – Mark Giordano (TOR)
* excludes players on IR

Which players in this postseason have won the Stanley Cup the most?
Three of the eight active players who have won the Stanley Cup three times will participate in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs – no active player has won four.

3 – Patrick Maroon (2019 w/ STL, 2020 & 2021 w/ TBL)
3 – Jonathan Quick (2012 & 2014 w/ LAK, 2023 w/ VGK)
3 – Alec Martinez (2012 & 2014 w/ LAK, 2023 w/ VGK)

Which players this postseason have appeared in the most career playoff games?
The top-five most experienced players in the postseason that will be participating in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs includes just one outlier – Joe Pavelski is the only player on that list who has yet to win the Stanley Cup. Pavelski has come close twice, he lost in the Stanley Cup Final in 2020 (w/ DAL) and 2016 (w/ SJS).

196 – Corey Perry (Stanley Cup in 2007)
185 – Ryan McDonagh (Stanley Cup in 2020 & 2021)
182 – Joe Pavelski
160 – Victor Hedman (Stanley Cup in 2020 & 2021)
150 – Patrick Maroon (Stanley Cup in 2019, 2020 & 2021)

Which players can move up all-time lists on
Stars forward Joe Pavelski (t-13th; 73) and Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin (t-15th; 72) both rank among the top 15 on the NHL’s all-time playoff goals list. To enter the top 10, they would have to catch Jean Beliveau (10th; 79).

Joe Pavelski’s 18 career game-winning goals are tied with Maurice Richard (18) for fifth most in Stanley Cup Playoffs history, behind only Brett Hull (24), Wayne Gretzky (24), Joe Sakic (19) and Claude Lemieux (19).

Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov (107) is 16 assists from matching Jaromir Jagr (123) and moving into the top 10 on the NHL’s all-time playoffs assist list. Kucherov has hit double-digit assists in a single postseason five times.

Oilers forward Corey Perry (5) is one of five players in Stanley Cup Playoffs history with five or more career playoff overtime goals. The only players with more than five: Joe Sakic (8) and Maurice Richard (6).

Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (88) is five assists from entering the NHL’s top 10 career playoff assists by a defenseman, with 10th spot currently occupied by Sergei Zubov (93). He is also 11 points from matching Chris Pronger (121) for 10th on the all-time list for playoff points by a defenseman.

Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (65) is six wins from matching Jacques Plante (71) for 10th on the NHL’s all-time playoff wins list.

How rare is it to get 100 assists then go on to win the Stanley Cup?
Connor McDavid and Nikita Kucherov became the fourth and fifth players in NHL history to record a 100-assist season in 2023-24, joining Wayne Gretzky (11x), Mario Lemieux and Bobby Orr. Gretzky (4x) is the only player in NHL history to post 100 assists in the same season in which he went on to win the Stanley Cup.

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