Thursday, April 20, 2006

Playoff Streaks: April 20, 2006

Now that the NBA and NHL regular seasons are over, we can look again at how MLS teams stack up when looking at the USA's longest playoff streaks. This list is limited to the top 4 leagues, plus MLS and the WNBA.

Playoff Streaks

1 Detroit Red Wings NHL 15
2 Atlanta Braves MLB 14
3 Colorado Avalanche NHL 11
3 New York Yankees MLB 11
3 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 11
6 Los Angeles Galaxy MLS 10
7 Indiana Pacers NBA 9
7 New Jersey Devils NHL 9
7 Ottawa Senators NHL 9
7 San Antonio Spurs NBA 9
11 Sacramento Kings NBA 8
12 Los Angeles Sparks WNBA 7
13 Dallas Mavericks NBA 6
14 Detroit Pistons NBA 5
14 New Jersey Nets NBA 5
14 San Jose Earthquakes MLS 5

I last looked at this in December, and the only team that dropped off from the top ten was the St. Louis Blues, whose 25 year streak finally ended in emphatic fashion. The Indianapolis Colts have the longest streak in the NFL, at only 4 years.

The Galaxy have only five teams ahead of them. Who knows, with a majority of MLS teams making the playoffs every year, they could put together their own 25 year streak.

The Earthquakes will fall off after this year, obviously. The next two MLS teams are the Colorado Rapids and the New England Revolution, both with 4 year streaks.

Of course, making the playoffs isn't always an indication of a good team, thanks to every league other than MLB/NFL allowing a ton of teams to make the playoffs. So here's another, possibly more prestigious list of years in a row over .500:

Over .500 Streaks

1 Atlanta Braves MLB 15
2 Detroit Red Wings NHL 14
2 New Jersey Devils NHL 14
4 New York Yankees MLB 13
5 Colorado Avalanche NHL 11
5 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 11
7 Dallas Stars NHL 9
7 San Antonio Spurs NBA 9
9 Boston Red Sox MLB 8
9 Ottawa Senators NHL 8
9 Sacramento Kings NBA 8
12 Oakland Athletics MLB 7
13 Dallas Mavericks NBA 6
13 St. Louis Cardinals MLB 6
15 Detroit Pistons NBA 5
15 Houston Astros MLB 5
15 Minnesota Twins MLB 5
15 New England Patriots NFL 5
15 New Jersey Nets NBA 5
15 Vancouver Canucks NHL 5

Here's where the baseball teams get their dues. The 1994 strike season is counted here, although it wasn't in the playoff streak list above. The Braves and Red Wings switch places here.

MLS' top team is the Kansas City Wizards, with only 3 seasons in a row over .500. The WNBA leader is the Seattle Storm with 4.

Under .500 Streaks

1 Pittsburgh Pirates MLB 13
2 Detroit Tigers MLB 12
2 Golden State Warriors NBA 12
4 Baltimore Orioles MLB 8
4 Tampa Bay Devil Rays MLB 8
6 Arizona Cardinals NFL 7
6 Atlanta Hawks NBA 7
8 Cincinnati Reds MLB 5
8 Colorado Rockies MLB 5
8 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 5
8 Detroit Lions NFL 5
8 Florida Panthers NHL 5
8 New York Knicks NBA 5

Since there are a lot of baseball teams on the over .500 list, it's only fitting that MLB teams dominate this list as well. The Pirates should continue their streak, although the Tigers look like they'll break theirs. The Milwaukee Brewers finished exactly at .500 last year, or they would be tied with Pittsburgh at 13 years.

Only three MLS teams had a losing record last year (plus 2 teams at .500), and two were expansion teams. RSL and Chivas USA were incredibly bad, so the only other team to have a losing record was the Columbus Crew, who had the league's best record in 2004. So no MLS team has a losing streak longer than 1 year.

The WNBA's San Antonio Silver Stars lead that league with a 3 year streak.

Comments on "Playoff Streaks: April 20, 2006"


Blogger kj said ... (11:06 AM, April 21, 2006) : 

"...the only team that dropped off from the top ten was the St. Louis Blues, whose 25 year streak finally ended in emphatic fashion."

Please allow me a moment to weep openly. I knew it had to come to an end eventually... but not like this.


Blogger DF said ... (1:24 PM, April 21, 2006) : 

Not sure why the Quakes have to drop off the playoff list. Sure they're Dynamo now, but they've still got the same players, same coach, etc. There's continuity on the field so it seems to me that the Quakes/Dynamo should be rewarded if they keep the streak alive.


Blogger scaryice said ... (3:55 PM, April 21, 2006) : 

The Dynamo's history is officially seperate than the Earthquakes'. See the Browns/Ravens scenario in the NFL.


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