Once a year, during the NHL playoffs, the game’s elite hit the ice for about 2 months to determine who the world’s best team is. It is one of the most gruelling, demanding, and thrilling tournaments in any sport, and history is often made. It’s also the ideal time for huge shocks and massive upsets to occur, and there have been plenty of these over the years! We’ve rounded up the top 3 upsets that changed the sport forever.
An Unexpected Oilers Comeback
The biggest shock in NHL history belongs to the 2006 Edmonton Oilers, in their game against the Detroit Red Wings. The Oilers managed to rally from a 2 – 0 deficit and tie up the game, at which point the Red Wings pulled ahead with a score of 3 – 2. But, once again, the Oilers made a comeback, and, with just more than a minute left, Hemsky helped his team complete a comeback to stand for the ages, and decimate one of the best teams in just 6 games.
The Miracle on Manchester
The Oilers appear in the second spot as well, albeit on the opposite end: the Los Angeles Kings upset them in the 1982 Smythe Division semi-finals. What is known as The Miracle on Manchester occurred, when the Kings made one of the best comebacks in playoff history.
An Underdog Win
The St Louis Blues of 1999 – 2000 was an excellent team, winning the President’s Trophy with 113 points and more defensive style than was expected. The San Jose Sharks, however, were rather average, finishing with only 87 points. The Sharks entered the playoffs as the No. 8 seed, but Turek’s big mistake proved impossible for his team to overcome, and they managed to win the 7th game 3 – 1. Punters partaking in online betting in NZ or anywhere else, would’ve seen great returns with the right wager for this game.
A Wild Comeback
In 4th place we have the Colorado Avalanche collapse against the forces of team Minnesota Wild in 2003’s Western Conference quarterfinals. As far as seeding was concerned, things looked ok, with the Wilds at 6, and the Avalanche team at 3. With things looking grim however, Brunette’s overtime winner in Game 7 capped the Wild’s’ remarkable comeback.
8 Beats 1
5th place sees the Canadians rallying to wipe out the Caps at the 2010 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The Capitals were famous for having one of the most powerful offences in modern NHL history, and the Canadiens barely qualified for the playoffs, racking up only 88 points. They went on, however, to become the very first No. 8 seed to ever come back from a deficit of 3 – 1 and go on to defeat a No. 1 seed in the process.
A Toronto Shocker
Rounding up this group of shocks takes us back to the Conference Semi-Finals of 1945, where Toronto managed to shock a mind-blowing Montreal team. The Canadiens of 1944 – 1945 were one of the best regular season teams, and the Maple Leafs had finished with a rather average mark of only 24 – 22 – 4. Thanks to the great goaltending of Frank McCool, the Maple Leafs managed to win the first 2 games, and although the dropped the 3rd they came back to take the 4th before bowing out in Game 5. They were determined not to lose the series to Montreal, however, and went on to complete a shocking upset of a 4 – 3 win in the 6th Game.
Titanic Upsets Make History
Ice Hockey history is often made in the form of these kinds of titanic upsets, and, next to March Madness, the playoffs for the National Hockey League seem to be able to produce the most regular, and dramatic upsets of any sports out there.