Excitement, joy, and the feeling of being the king of the world often escapes sportsmen’s reach by seconds. That is especially true in the competitive world of hockey, where one minute can reverse the game and revive hope. Let’s look at some instances where everything looked good and promising… until it didn’t. The most heartbreaking losses in the history of the NHL below.
Maple Leaves vs Boston Bruins
After the series of disappointing seasons and disheartening defeats, the Maple Leaves finally managed to get to their first Playoffs since 2004. They were up against the Boston Bruins, and at first, their chances seemed slim.
Down 1-3 in the series, the Maple Leaves managed to make it a tie. Game 7 was the deciding match, and after three periods, it looked like the Maples were on their way to a confident victory with a 4-1 lead.
Eleven minutes till the end, Nathan Horton scored for the Bruins. It seemed like that was it, but Milan Lucic managed to make the score 4-3 with only 1:22 left in the game. And then, like thunder, Patrice Bergeron scored 32 seconds later. He finished the Maples off in overtime, crushing their dreams of a championship.
Edmonton Oilers vs Calgary Flames
After winning three Stanley Cups in a row, the Oilers were looking strong. They faced their division nemesis, the Calgary Flames, in an intense seven-game battle in the 1986 Smythe Division finals.
Smith, a rookie birthday boy who had to substitute for an injured player, was behind his team’s net as the game was coming to a close with a 2-2 tie. In the blink of an eye, what was supposed to be a pass towards his teammates actually resulted in a shot that hit the goalkeeper’s skate. The puck jumped off straight into the Oiler’s net.
Smith scored… but it was the wrong net. The Oilers lost the game.
Boston Bruins vs Chicago Blackhawks
The fans of the Bruins will remember the 2013 Stanley Cup Final for a long time. 17 seconds that turned a cheering party into a funeral ceremony.
Game 6 of the series was in the Bruin’s hands: 2-1 lead, home crowd, motivation to get to the deciding Game 7 – the team was crushing it.
The confidence was high, so the Bruin’s goalkeeper, Corey Crawford, came closer to the attackers to help out. Chicago used the chance: Bryan Bickell hit the puck and tied the game.
Disappointing, but the mistake could be fixed in overtime. But there wasn’t one. Just 17 seconds later, Dave Bolland sent the puck into the Bruins’ net, crowning the Blackhawks as the champions.
Regardless of how good or dominating the team is, even the slightest mistake, the smallest slack, the tiniest underestimation – can completely turn the tables.
Now you know about the most heartbreaking losses in the history of the NHL. Also, you can read about 5 weird NHL goalies.