The Columbus Blue Jackets deserve high praise for their sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning. That was a five-star playoff upset. But this astonishing ouster took place in the first round. For the Stanley Cup final upset-of-all-upsets, we have to turn the clock back 70 years and revisit the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Detroit Red Wings in 1949.
Despite being the defending champions, the Leafs had no business making the final. They finished 1948-49 under .500 and lost three of their top players before the season began. Hall of Fame captain Syl Apps and reliable winger Nick Metz had retired while defenseman Wally Stanowski had been dealt to the Rangers. None of the three had been replaced. Plus, the entire team seemed to have lost motivation. “We were getting fat,” said sparkplug winger Howie Meeke...
About the Author
Stan Fischler is an award-winning writer and broadcaster who's covered the game since 1954. He been a contributor to The Hockey News since 1955 and you can continue to find his Strange But True features in almost every issue.