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The 1997 Philadelphia Flyers seemed destined for the Stanley Cup, losing only 3 games all playoffs before being swept by the Detroit Red Wings.
1997 Philadelphia Flyers (lost to Detroit Red Wings 4-0 in Stanley Cup Final)
In 1997, Eric Lindros and the Flyers were in full flight, and the Legion of Doom was taking aim at bringing the Stanley Cup back to Philadelphia for the first time since 1975.
Despite only playing 52 games that season, Lindros finished second in Flyers scoring with 79 points while John LeClair led the team with 97 points, including 50 goals.
The Flyers finished second in their division behind the New Jersey Devils and went on a tear in the playoffs, losing only three times before meeting the Detroit Red Wings in the Finals.
The Flyers offense dried up as they could only muster six goals in a four game sweep.
1986 Edmonton Oilers (lost to Calgary Flames 4-3 in Smythe Division Final)
Not on the main list because the Oilers did not choke as a team to lose out to the Flames in an effort to win a third straight Stanley Cup.
Steve Smith's unfortunate own goal in a 3-2 Game 7 loss was more of an individual choke than a team choke.
However, the Oilers re-grouped and won the 1987 and 1988 Stanley Cups with Smith being honoured for his perseverance.
1995 Detroit Red Wings (lost to New Jersey Devils 4-0 in Stanley Cup Final)
The Detroit Red Wings had finally made it back to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1966 and were looking to win their first Stanley Cup since 1955, the longest drought of any NHL team at the time (since the Rangers won the 1994 Stanley Cup).
The Wings made easy work of their Western Conference opponents, only losing twice en route to the Finals against the upstart New Jersey Devils.
In the shortened 1994-95 season, the Wings had finished 18 points ahead of the Devils and won the President's Trophy.
However, the Devils shocked the hockey world by sweeping the Wings and winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, with the Wings being outscored 17-7 in the four games.
2004 Boston Bruins (lost to Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in Eastern Conference Quarterfinals)
Finishing 11 points ahead of Montreal, the Bruins went up 3-1 in the series on an infamous overtime goal by Glen Murray, who grabbed a lose puck left by Canadiens Alex Kovalev.
However, the Canadiens fought back to surprisingly win Game 5 5-1 in Boston, Game 6 5-2 in Montreal and Game 7 2-0 in Boston with Richard Zednik scoring late in the third.
It was the first time in Montreal Canadiens history they had come back after being 3-1 down in a series.
2009 San Jose Sharks (lost to Anaheim Ducks 4-2 in Western Conference Quarterfinals)
The San Jose Sharks finished with their first President's Trophy in franchise history after amassing 117 points and finishing 26 points ahead of their first round opponent Anaheim Ducks.
However, the Sharks found themselves struggling against the Ducks. The Ducks surprised the hockey world by winning the first two games in San Jose 2-0 and 3-2.
San Jose managed to win Game 3 and Game 5 back home before bowing out in Game 6 in Anaheim.
1998 Colorado Avalanche (lost to Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in Western Conference Quarterfinals)
15 points separated the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers in the 1998 Playoffs.
The Avalanche had emerged as one of the powerhouses in the Western Conference along with the Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars, with all three teams winning the Stanley Cup between 1997 and 1999.
However, the Curtis Joseph-led Edmonton Oilers upset the Avs in seven games this season.
Fresh off a stunning seven game upset of the Dallas Stars the year before, the Oilers were down 3-1 to the Avs before Joseph started to stone the Avs offense.
The Avalanche only scored one goal in the final three games en route to the Oilers winning Games 6 and 7 2-0 and 4-0 to advance.
Other Honourable Mentions:
1990 Winnipeg Jets (lost to Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in Smythe Division Semifinal; had 3-1 series lead)
1988 Philadelphia Flyers (lost to Washington Capitals 4-3 in Patrick Division Semifinal; had 3-1 series lead)
1989 Edmonton Oilers (lost to LA Kings 4-3 in Smythe Division Semifinal; had 3-1 series lead)
1991 Detroit Red Wings (lost to St. Louis Blues 4-3 in Norris Division Semifinal; had 3-1 series lead)
1992 Winnipeg Jets (lost to Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in Smythe Division Semifinal; had 3-1 series lead)