The Stanley Cup remains legendary for ice-hockey fans. Since it was first awarded in 1893, the cup has come to be regarded as the greatest prize in North American hockey, and crowns with it the champions of the National Hockey League.
Awarded to the league playoff winner, the trophy is hotly contested for each season, and throughout its illustrious history, has of course seen witness to some incredible games. One thing that makes the Stanley Cup so thrilling for fans is the incredible comebacks which have occurred in the competition; minor miracles that have defied all the NHL picks and parlays, as well as the odds.
Whilst fans have been unable to witness most of the key games in the Cup this year, here we wanted to take this opportunity to look back at a different time. Without further ado here are some of the best Stanley Cup comebacks of all time
Minnesota are no minnows
The Minnesota North Stars had a torrid time in the 1985 playoffs, but their resilience and determination to overturn their situation still won them many admirers. One such example was in the fifth game of the Clarence Campbell Conference against the Chicago Blackhawks. Having conceded 4 goals, Minnesota managed to wrestle control of the game back from Chicago, eventually winning the game 5-4 in overtime.
Whilst they were eventually knocked out at the quarters by Chicago in the next game, their plucky courage in managing to carve some victory on the brink of defeat brought them a plethora of admirers.
Miracle on Manchester
When talking about famous hockey comebacks, the first game in a lot of people’s minds will be the 1982 The Miracle on Manchester. The third game in a best of five between the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings, the Oilers were odds on in most people’s assessment to beat the Kings without trouble. Led by a young Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton were 5 up at one stage, and all seemed to be going as expected. However, Los Angeles hadn’t read the script, and came back to overturn the deficit, winning the game 6-5 in overtime. Victories by the Kings in other games gave them a 3-2 lead over the Oilers were eliminated, and L.A progressed to the second round.
Sweet victory for the Maple Leafs
1942 is unfortunately a little too far back in history to be in the memories of most, which is a shame, as most hockey fans would have loved to be around for the Stanley Cup finals that year between The Toronto Maple Leafs and The Detroit Wings. The finals are most remembered for the incredible turnaround of fortunes achieved by the Maple Leafs. Having lost their first three games, Toronto won their next four to register a playoff finals win of 4-3.
No other team has come back from three down in a Stanley Cup final since, making Toronto true history makers and, at a time where Canada was at war, gave its citizens some welcome relief.