Quality of Stanley Cup Playoff Competition
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09-20-2012, 09:10 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Originally Posted by
I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to find plenty of examples of teams that finished behind one of their playoff rivals during the regular season, yet dominated (or even "unexpectedly" split) the head-to-head matchups (and vice versa), and ended up winning/losing the series in an "upset". For example, in '85/86 Toronto finished 30 points behind the Blackhawks and faced them in the first round.
Now, if we looked at it just as an 86 point team vs a 57 point team, it would look like a major hurdle. Fact is, though, that Toronto dominated the season series between the two clubs (6W-2L). So it might look like Toronto had a difficult task ahead of them in round 1 of '86, but they were probably more comfortable heading into Chicago than they may have been Minnesota, for example (who Toronto couldn't beat in 8 encounters that year). Lo and behold, they won that series.
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