Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ranking the worst Stanley Cup finals of the last 50 years

We’re a few days removed from Super Bowl 50, which means most of us are already a few days removed from remembering anything that happened during the game. Despite the presence of some of the sport’s biggest names and the usual limitless supply of hype and intrigue, Super Bowl 50 ended up being a dud, a 24-10 snoozer that hinged on which team would make the most game-changing mistakes.

But while hockey fans love to point out all the ways their sport is better than others – Our trophy presentation is better! We shake hands after playoff games! Our players are always selfless and classy, as long as you ignore all the times they’re not! – we can’t really take the high road here. The Stanley Cup final has offered up its share of stinkers over the years.

So since misery loves company, let’s take a moment to commiserate with our football friends with a look back at the five worst Cup finals over the last 50 years.

#5 – 1982: Islanders vs Canucks

The matchup: The Islanders were in the middle of what would turn out to be a four-year Cup dynasty that saw them win 19 consecutive playoff rounds, a mark that still stands as the North American pro sports record. The Canucks were not quite as good, finishing 41 points behind New York during the regular season.

Amazingly, Vancouver had not only been a sub-500 team during the season, but had reached the final by beating three other sub-500 teams. Where were you when we needed you, loser point?

The hope: Maybe everyone is wrong. Maybe the Canucks can shock the world. Maybe they could win… a game? That seemed like the best-case scenario.

The reality: To their credit, the Canucks were at least able to force overtime in Game 1. But Mike Bossy won it in sudden death, and that was pretty much it for the series. The Islanders won in four straight, including winning both games in Vancouver by a combined score of 6-1.

None of the Islanders four Cup wins were exactly classics, with only the first even going six games. You could make a case for the 1981 final between the Isles and North Stars deserving this spot, but at least Minnesota won a game, so 1982 gets the nod.

Redeeming quality: Bossy’s seven goals in four games still stands as one of the better Cup final performances in history.

>> Read the full post at The Hockey News

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