Friday, March 17, 2006


Claude Lapointe and the Playoff No-Shows

For some odd and unknown reason, I found myself surfing the NHLPA website. After dirtying my soul somewhat, I came across this little story about Claude Lapointe, one of the hardest working little bees in hockey.

(Edit: the story is about MARTIN, not Claude...d'oh!)

Lapointe has always struck me as somewhat of an unlucky hockey player. For all of his tireless efforts, he rarely ever gets a chance to play for the Stanley Cup. Being stuck on those crappy Islanders teams for so many seasons and then now signing with the Blackhawks (it was his choice, though) doesn't leave a whole lot of playoff experiences to tell the kids about.

Checking his stats, I can see Lapointe, since his debut in 1990-91, has played 879 regular season games compared to just 34 playoff games, 13 of those in one season with the Flyers. He averages about 2.27 playoff games per year. Ouch!

“It’s a great city, great people. I live in the suburbs and my kids love the area. They can walk to school and have a park in front of the house where they can play. My wife and I can go downtown and have a nice dinner. I really like the guys on the team as well. It's been a great experience so far.”
So, obviously he's not losing a lot of sleep over missing the playoffs. He's probably used to have a nice early off-season, so while spoil precious golfing time?

To find some more unlucky bastards, we can look at his former Islanders teammates for 'inspiration'.

Ex-teammate Kenny "Pizza Face" Jonsson played 686 NHL regular season games and had only 19 playoff games to show for it. Now he has an Olympic Gold Medal, so booyah to Claude!

Marty MacInnis, a useful 2-way player in his own right, had just 22 playoff games versus 796 regular season tilts.

Tommy Salo? Oilers fans won't forget his playoff adventures, after he never had a single playoff game during his years on the Island. Tommy finished his NHL career with just 21 playoff games compared to 526 regular season contests.

Outdoing them all is ex-teammate Scott Lachance, a crappy defenseman that has managed to secure a regular roster spot to the tune of 819 regular season games. Match that up with just 11 playoff games, and we might have a winner! (or a loser...) Scott played a whopping 6 back in 2000-01 with the Canucks and just 5 in two other playoff series. Congrats, Scott!

When it comes to a real hard luck case, none of them could match up to Marcel Dionne, the puny Hall of Famer who played 1348 regular season games over 18 years and only 49 playoff games. His Los Angeles Kings made it out of the second round and the most he ever played in the second season was 10 games in 1981-1982.

A few others of note:
Sandy McCarthy - 736 vs. 23
Alexei Zhamnov - If not for the 18-game run he had with the Flyers in 03-04, Zhamnov would have been a king for non-playoff experience. Overall, Zhamnov has 807 regular season games versus 35 playoff games. Prior to the run with the Flyers, Zhamnov was at 783 versus 17!
Steve Dubinsky - 375 vs. 10
Derek Armstrong - the longtime AHL star and current LA Kings forward (who has done well this year) has 267 vs. 0!

On the flip side, Peter Forsberg has 133 playoff games versus 630 regular season games. Playing on good teams, being a great player combined with severe long-term injuries and some good/bad luck have given Forsberg the best looking ratio I could find in my quick searching.

(Edit: It's a good thing I'm taking this weekend off to go skiing. This job of mine plus jugs of coffee has obviously fried my brain more than the drugs of my youth.
Obviously, the NHLPA story is about MARTIN, but Claude was the one that came to mind and thus the post came to be.)

Uh.... do you mean Martin Lapointe?
Don Cherry: 1 playoff game, 0 regular season games. His ratio is infinity!
" Match that up with just 19 playoff games, and we might have a winner! (or a loser...) Scott played a whopping 6 back in 2000-01 with the Canucks and just 5 in two other playoff series. Congrats, Scott!"

For an accountant I expected better math:


Scott has got a chance to add some Swiss playoff games under his belt this season. He already has got 5 as his team is 3-2 up in the series aginst #1 seed Bern.

Yeah Claude hasn’t been around for a couple years, suspended indefinitely in April 2004.
He has to go thru the treatment program before returning, really haven’t heard how things are going for him.
He was a decent 4th line center for the Flyers. Hope thinks work out for him.
F*** IT ALL!!

See my edits.

I need a vacation!
Guy Charron is the master of this category. He played 734 regular seasons games and ZERO playoff games!

It's too bad, Charron was a pretty good player and had a bunch of 70-point seasons.

Charron played on the Wings in the early/mid 70's before moving on to the Kansas City Scouts and Washington Capitals.

The ultimate irony? Charron played a few regular season games with the Canadiens dynasty in the early 70's... had he not been traded to Detroit, he actually would have played in a bunch of playoff games.
Ok, a few more players with bad luck:

- Dad Hudson at 409 and 2
- Robert Picard at 899 and 36
- Patrik Stefan at 401 and 0
- Matt Cullen at 576 and 4
- Olli Jokinen at 544 and 0 -- he's approaching Guy Charron territory!
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