The Worst Choke in NHL History

By Collin Murray

This past National Hockey League (NHL) season, the Boston Bruins were arguably the greatest team in NHL history, and the uncontested favorites to win the Stanley Cup. The Bruins finished the regular season with a record of 65-12-5; the greatest record of all time. They also held the record for fastest team to reach 100 points in the standings, doing so in 61 games. 

You may be thinking to yourself, how could they not win the Stanley Cup after such an impressive season? I thought so too.  The first round of the playoffs arrives, and the Bruins are facing off against the Florida Panthers. Surely they will be able to move in the second round, maybe even sweep Florida. WRONG. Boston sat comfortably with a 3-1 lead in the series, then lost one game in overtime 4-3, then another game 7-5 in regulation . Finally game 7, winner moves on, loser trades their hockey sticks for golf clubs. The game goes to overtime, and Boston loses to a goal by the Panthers’ Carter Verhaeghe. The score of the game: 4-3, same as the score of the series.

So what went wrong? Many speculate that at least the game 7 loss is due to the Bruins coach benching their Vezina Trophy (best goaltender) candidate in Linus Ullmark, in favor of the backup Jeremy Swayman. Others believe that the team’s incredible record was only that, a record in the standings. They were not the “super team” that everyone believes they were. They had a 60-goal scorer in forward David Pastrnak, but there were no other exemplary players on this team, and they simply couldn’t handle the pressure of the playoffs.