The Seattle Kraken and Florida Panthers entered their respective first round series as gigantic underdogs. The Karaken were at +235, compared to the Avalanche at -300. The Panthers were at +250, while the Bruins were at -320. Yet, it is the Kraken, who are only in their second year of existence, and the Panthers, who had 43 fewer points than the Bruins in the regular season, the are off to the Conference semifinals.
Seattle Kraken upset win
On Sunday, the Kraken got two goals from Oliver Bjorkstrand of Herning, Denmark in the 2-1 win over the Avalanche in game seven of the first round Western Conference series. This is the first ever time in Stanley Cup Playoff history that a National Hockey League team won its very first ever playoff series by beating the defending Stanley Cup champions. The Avalanche beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games in the 2022 Stanley Cup Final.
Florida Panthers upset win
The Panthers are off to round two thanks to an overtime winner by Carter Verhaeghe of Toronto, Ontario and two goals by Brandon Montour of Brantford, Ontario. Florida’s 4-3 overtime game seven stunner needs some time to put into perspective.
This is considered the second biggest upset in terms of point differential in Stanley Cup Playoff history. Only the Los Angeles Kings which had 48 fewer points than the Edmonton Oilers in 1982, delivered a bigger upset than the Panthers.
According to ESPN, the Bruins are only the second team in NHL history to blow a three games to one series lead as the Presidents’ Trophy champions. The other franchise was the 2010 Washington Capitals which blew a 3-1 lead to the Montreal Canadiens.
This is also only the second time ever that the regular season champions in the NHL and NBA both lost in the first round in the same year. The Miami Heat beat the Milwaukee Bucks in five games in the NBA Eastern Conference first round series. In 2012, the Vancouver Canucks were Presidents’ Trophy winners, but were beaten in six games in the first round by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. Also that year, the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Chicago Bulls in six games in the first round, even though the Bulls and San Antonio Spurs shared the best record in the NBA in 2011-12.