Ranking the Biggest Playoff Upsets in NHL History

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Ranking the Biggest Playoff Upsets in NHL History
Nick Ut

1982's "Miracle on Manchester" between the Kings and the Oilers was just one of many shocking postseason upsets. In a seven-game series, even a heavy favorite will lose about one time out of every eight. What were history's most dramatic underdog victories?

While it's difficult to use analytics to find history's greatest upsets, it does have some value. The basic approach is to look at the gap between the two teams in the regular-season standings and sort the upsets by those with the widest margins.

From there, it must be determined if the team with the lesser record truly was a weaker team or was a good team that just had a poor stretch or some fluke injuries in the regular season. This can be done by looking at how many All-Stars and/or future Hall of Famers were on the team and how they did the season before and after.

Adjustments can then be made for the different scoring eras and playoff formats, to mention only a few additional factors.

In the end, it's never an exact science, and there's admittedly a fair deal of personal opinion. With those difficulties in mind, let's turn over to find out which series were the 10 biggest upsets in playoff history.


All advanced statistics are via writer's own original research unless otherwise noted.


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