Picking the 10 worst teams of the past 10 years is an exercise in cruelty, so we took the scientific approach and let the numbers dictate the baddest of the bad. Which is to say, here are the 10 teams that posted the worst points percentages in the 2010s:
10. Columbus Blue Jackets 2011-12 (29-46-7, .396 points percentage)
The lowlights: The Blue Jackets finished last overall in 2011-12, nine points behind second-last Edmonton. And Columbus finished last in the Central Division in spectacular fashion – they had 65 points, while the other four teams in the division all had more than 100 points. The Blue Jackets were the fifth-worst offensive team and third-worst defensively. Their power play ranked 24th out of 30 teams, their penalty kill was last. How bad was it? They even lost the draft lottery.
9. Ottawa Senators 2018-19 (29-47-6, .390 points percentage)
The lowlights: Erik Karlsson was traded at the start of training camp, and things got worse from there. Mark Stone, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel – the Sens’ first-, second-, and sixth-leading scorers – were also dealt leading up to the NHL trade deadline. Ottawa ranked last overall in the league standings, seven points behind second-last Los Angeles. While their offense finished in the middle of the pack, their 3.67 goals-against average was the worst in the league.
8. Edmonton Oilers 2010-11 (25-45-12, .378 points percentage)
The lowlights: They finished last overall and they came by it honestly. The 2010-11 Oilers had both the third-worst offense and the third-worst defense; their power play was fourth-worst and their penalty kill ranked dead last. Jordan Eberle led the team in scoring with 43 points, starting goalie Nikolai Khabibulin went 10-32-4.
7. Buffalo Sabres 2017-18 (25-45-12, .378 points percentage)
The lowlights: Yes, the 2017-18 Sabres finished last overall. The problem was two-fold: they couldn’t score (finishing last in offense) and they couldn’t defend (finishing second-last in defense). At least they ended up with 2018 No. 1 pick Rasmus Dahlin for their troubles.
6. Edmonton Oilers 2014-15 (24-45-14, .378 points percentage)
The lowlights: How about a reverse lowlight? As in, the 2014-15 Oilers were bad, sure, but they were the best of three bad 2014-15 teams on this list. Edmonton’s minus-85 goal differential was atrocious, but it was still better than Arizona’s and Buffalo’s (spoiler: those were the other two bad teams in 2014-15). The Oilers struggled to score, ranking 26th out of 30 teams, while their defense was 30th. They gave Ben Scrivens the net, but they didn’t give him much help.
5. Florida Panthers 2012-13 (15-27-6, .375 points percentage)
The lowlights: Last overall on offense, last overall on defense, last overall in the standings. The 2012-13 Panthers had a minus-59 goal differential in a 48-game season. Their penalty kill was the worst in the league. Tomas Kopecky led them in goals with 15. Of the 34 players who appeared in at least one game for the Panthers, only one player had a positive plus/minus rating: Eric Selleck, who was plus-two in two games. Hey, at least it was a short season and they didn’t prolong the agony.
4. Arizona Coyotes 2014-15 (24-50-8, .341 points percentage)
The lowlights: The 2014-15 Coyotes were even worse than the 2014-15 Oilers. They’re the first team with a 50-loss season on this list. The Coyotes were the second-worst team on offense and third-worst on defense. Their goal differential was minus-102. They only had one 20-goal scorer, and it was defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. It was their worst season in Arizona in franchise history. Starting goalie Mike Smith went 14-42-5. They were bad, basically, is what we’re saying.
3. Buffalo Sabres 2014-15 (23-51-8, .329 points percentage)
The lowlights: They were even worse than the Coyotes. The Sabres ranked dead last on offense, averaging a paltry 1.86 goals per game. Their 3.28 GAA was second-worst, ahead of only Edmonton (3.37). Their power play was so remarkably bad (13.3 percent) that their league-worst penalty kill (75.0 percent) was almost mediocre by comparison. They lost 14 in a row from late December through early February, failing to even earn a loser point in the process. Their goal differential was an astounding minus-113. They couldn’t even win the draft lottery – Jack Eichel was a great consolation, but it sure would’ve been nice to snag Connor McDavid.
2. Buffalo Sabres 2013-14 (21-51-10, .317 points percentage)
The lowlights: As bad as the Sabres were in 2014-15, they were even worse the season before. They went 2-12-1 in October and finished the season by going 3-17-2 in March and April – and they weren’t a whole lot better in the months in between. They fired the coach and GM by the middle of November. They scored 1.83 goals per game, nearly half a goal less than the second-worst team. Six players were minus-25 or worse. They used six goalies, including Connor Knapp, Nathan Lieuwen and Matt Hackett. The only silver lining? There was one team that was even worse in the past decade.
1. Colorado Avalanche 2016-17 (22-56-4, .293 points percentage)
The lowlights: With 56 losses and a sub-.300 points percentage, the 2016-17 Avs set the standard for the 2010s. But, like, the wrong standard. They ranked last overall in both offense and defense. Their power play was putrid (12.5 percent), their penalty kill ranked 29th out of 30 teams. They had a goal differential of minus-112. Somebody get Nathan MacKinnon some help…
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