The 25 Greatest Underdog Stanley Cup Champions

nhl stanley cup 16x9 560x315The Las Vegas Golden Knights are currently playing for the Stanley Cup, and it’s been well documented that this is a first for an expansion team in the NHL. The Knights were a 500 to 1 long shot to win the Stanley Cup at the beginning of the season, but they’ve played so well this season and postseason, that they are actually favored over the Washington Capitals. Both Las Vegas and Washington won their division, so they weren’t really underdogs in the post-season, but neither were picked by any experts to win at the beginning of the season, and many didn’t even expect either to make the playoffs.

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Every year it seems there are teams that barely make the playoffs but turn around and win a series or two, surprising everyone, their own fans included. Last year it was the Nashville Predators. Who would have imagined the 2012 Los Angeles Kings, who were an 8th seed at the time, would have steamrolled through the playoffs and win a Stanley Cup? (Let’s help you out with the answer, no one saw it coming.)

Here are the 25 Greatest Underdogs, in NHL Stanley Cup playoff history, to shock everyone and beat the league’s best teams en route to a Stanley Cup. If the Nashville Predators had pulled off the upset against Pittsburgh last season, we believe they would have moved everyone else on this list down one position, but it wasn’t to be. Will the Las Vegas Knights be added to this list?

25. Toronto Maple Leafs, 1962

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  • Seed: 2
  • Season: 1961-62
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 4
  • Head Coach: Punch Imlach
  • Division (Finish): No Divisions, 2nd in NHL
  • Regular Season (Points): 37-22-11 (85)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 232 (180)

24. New York Rangers, 1933

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  • Seed: 3
  • Season: 1932-33
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 4
  • Head Coach: Lester Patrick
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): American (3rd)
  • Regular Season (Points): 23-17-8 (54)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 135 (107)

23. New York Islanders, 1980

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  • Seed: 3
  • Season: 1979-80
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 16
  • Head Coach: Al Arbour
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): Patrick (2nd)
  • Regular Season (Points): 39-28-13 (91)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 281 (247)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Bryan Trottier

22. Boston Bruins, 2011

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  • Seed: 3
  • Season: 2010-11
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 16
  • Head Coach: Claude Julien
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): Northeast (1st)
  • Regular Season (Points): 46-25-11 (103)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 246 (195)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Tim Thomas

21. Edmonton Oilers, 1990

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  • Seed: 2
  • Season: 1989-90
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 16
  • Head Coach: John Muckler
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): Smythe (2nd)
  • Regular Season (Points): 38-28-14 (90)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 315 (283)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Bill Ranford

20. Toronto Maple Leafs, 1942

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  • Seed: 2
  • Season: 1941-42
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 4
  • Head Coach: Hap Day
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): None (2nd in NHL)
  • Regular Season (Points): 27-18-3 (57)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 158 (136)

19. Montreal Canadiens, 1993

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  • Seed: 3
  • Season: 1992-93
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 16
  • Head Coach: Jacques Demers
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): Adams (3rd)
  • Regular Season (Points): 48-30-6 (102)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 326 (280)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Patrick Roy

18. Chicago Blackhawks, 2015

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  • Seed: 4
  • Season: 2014-15
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 16
  • Head Coach: Joel Quenneville
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): Central (3rd)
  • Regular Season (Points): 48-28-6 (102)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 229 (189)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Duncan Keith

17. Carolina Hurricanes, 2006

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  • Seed: 2
  • Season: 2005-06
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 16
  • Head Coach: Peter Laviolette
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): Southeast (1st)
  • Regular Season (Points): 52-22-8 (112)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 294 (260)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Cam Ward

16. Pittsburgh Penguins, 2009

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  • Seed: 4
  • Season: 2008-09
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 16
  • Head Coach: Dan Bylsma
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): Atlantic (2nd)
  • Regular Season (Points): 45-28-9 (99)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 264 (239)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Evgeni Malkin

15. Toronto Maple Leafs, 1949

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  • Seed: 4
  • Season: 1948-49
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 4
  • Head Coach: Hap Day
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): None (4th in NHL)
  • Regular Season (Points): 22-25-13 (57)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 147 (161)

14. Chicago Blackhawks, 1961

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  • Seed: 3
  • Season: 1960-61
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 4
  • Head Coach: Rudy Pilous
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): None (3rd in NHL)
  • Regular Season (Points): 29-24-17 (75)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 198 (180)

13. Toronto Maple Leafs, 1945

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  • Seed: 3
  • Season: 1944-45
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 4
  • Head Coach: Hap Day
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): None (3rd in NHL)
  • Regular Season (Points): 24-22-4 (52)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 183 (161)

12. Chicago Blackhawks, 1934

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  • Seed: 2
  • Season: 1933-34
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 4
  • Head Coach: Tommy Gorman
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): American (2nd)
  • Regular Season (Points): 20-17-11 (51)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 88 (83)

11. Pittsburgh Penguins, 1992

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  • Seed: 3
  • Season: 1991-92
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 16
  • Head Coach: Scotty Bowman
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): Patrick (3rd)
  • Regular Season (Points): 39-32-9 (87)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 343 (308)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Mario Lemieux

10. New Jersey Devils, 2000

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  • Seed: 4
  • Season: 1999-00
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 16
  • Head Coach: Larry Robinson
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): Atlantic (2nd)
  • Regular Season (Points): 45-24-8 (103)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 251 (203)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Scott Stevens

9. Toronto Maple Leafs, 1964

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  • Seed: 3
  • Season: 1963-64
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 4
  • Head Coach: Punch Imlach
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): None (3rd in NHL)
  • Regular Season (Points): 33-25-12 (78)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 192 (172)

8.  Montreal Canadiens, 1971

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  • Seed: 3
  • Season: 1970-71
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 8
  • Head Coach: Al MacNeil
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): East (3rd)
  • Regular Season (Points): 42-23-13 (97)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 291 (216)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Ken Dryden

7. Montreal Canadiens, 1986

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  • Seed: 2
  • Season: 1985-86
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 16
  • Head Coach: Jean Perron
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): Adams (2nd)
  • Regular Season (Points): 40-33-7 (87)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 330 (280)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Patrick Roy

6. Los Angeles Kings, 2014

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  • Seed: 6
  • Season: 2013-14
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 16
  • Head Coach: Darryl Sutter
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): Pacific (3rd)
  • Regular Season (Points): 46-28-8 (100)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 206 (174)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Justin Williams

5. Detroit Red Wings, 1997

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  • Seed: 3
  • Season: 1996-97
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 16
  • Head Coach: Scotty Bowman
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): Central (2nd)
  • Regular Season (Points): 38-26-18 (94)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 253 (197)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Mike Vernon

4. New Jersey Devils, 1995

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  • Seed: 5
  • Season: 1994-95
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 16
  • Head Coach: Jacques Lemaire
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): Atlantic (3rd)
  • Regular Season (Points): 22-18-8 (52)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 136 (121)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Claude Lemieux

3. Toronto Maple Leafs, 1967

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  • Seed: 3
  • Season: 1966-67
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 4
  • Head Coach: Punch Imlach
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): None (3rd in NHL)
  • Regular Season (Points): 32-27-11 (75)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 204 (211)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Dave Keon

2. Chicago Blackhawks, 1938

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  • Seed: 3
  • Season: 1937-38
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 4
  • Head Coach: Bill Stewart
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): American (3rd)
  • Regular Season (Points): 14-25-9 (37)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 97 (139)

1. Los Angeles Kings, 2012

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  • Seed: 8
  • Season: 2011-12
  • No. of Playoff Teams: 16
  • Head Coach: Darryl Sutter
  • Division (Reg. Season Standing): Pacific (3rd)
  • Regular Season (Points): 40-27-15 (95)
  • Goals For (Goals Against): 194 (179)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Jonathan Quick