The hockey gods are funny guys, and because of their running joke, both the Sabres and the Senators were rooting for the Sharks to come back against the Wings. That didn't happen, and Ottawa is destined to be the next victim of this "joke".
Since 1989, there have been 17 different losing teams in the Stanley Cup Final. No team has lost twice in that span. Of the four remaining teams, Ottawa is the only one not on that list. Detroit lost in the 1995 Finals against New Jersey. Anaheim lost in the 2003 Finals against New Jersey. Buffalo lost in the 1999 finals to Dallas. This incarnation of the Senators has never been to the Final. The original Senators won the Cup in 1927, and folded seven years later.
So, it looks like Ottawa will win the East and lose in the Final.
The complete list of those 17 different losers with winning team in parentheses:
- 1989 Montéal Canadiens (Calgary Flames)
1990 Boston Bruins (Edmonton Oilers)
1991 Minnesota North Stars (Pittsburgh Penguins)
1992 Chicago Blackhawks (Pittsburgh Penguins)
1993 Los Angeles Kings (Montréal Canadiens)
1994 Vancouver Canucks (New York Rangers)
1995 Detroit Red Wings (New Jersey Devils)
1996 Florida Panthers (Colorado Avalanche)
1997 Philadelphia Flyers (Detroit Red Wings)
1998 Washington Capitals (Detroit Red Wings)
1999 Buffalo Sabres (Dallas Stars)
2000 Dallas Stars* (New Jersey Devils)
2001 New Jersey Devils (Colorado Avalanche)
2002 Carolina Hurricanes (Detroit Red Wings)
2003 Anaheim Ducks (New Jersey Devils)
2004 Calgary Flames (Tampa Bay Lightning)
2005 -- No Cup
2006 Edmonton Oilers (Carolina Hurricanes)
* Although the Dallas Stars are technically the same franchise as the Minnesota North Stars, they are indeed different. In the late '70s the North Stars merged with the Cleveland Barons(nee California Golden Seals), and at some point in the early 90's the team tried to move to San Fransisco. This didn't work, the Gunds sold the NorthStars, and the San Jose Sharks were granted to the previous owners of the NorthStars. The team eventually moved to Dallas and is under different ownership. The North Stars have more of a "real" connection with the San Jose Sharks than they do with the Dallas Stars.
So anyway, the Sabres won't be making it to the Final this year. In order for the joke to continue, Ottawa has to go, and they have to lose.
Don't blame me. Blame the Hockey gods.