The Chicago Blackhawks are the first No. 1 seed in the history of the NHL or NBA to be swept in the first round by a No. 8 seed. The unfortunate bit of American sports history came Thursday at the hands of the Nashville Predators, who completed their sweep of the Hawks with a 4-1 win in Game 4.
FOX Sports Tennessee pointed out the fact after the series ended.
However, it’s worth noting that the feat is largely based off a technicality. The Blackhawks had the best record in the Western Conference in 1993 when they were swept by the Blues, who had the eighth-best record in the conference.
Playoff seeding at that time was based purely off the divisions, though, so it was technically a No. 1 vs. No. 4 matchup. In actuality, it’s an even greater upset than this year, with the Blues finishing 21 points behind the Hawks that year. This season, the Predators were 15 points behind the Hawks.
Like most No. 1 seeds, the Blackhawks were heavily favored to beat the Predators in the first round. They didn’t just fall short of that, but got overwhelmed by Nashville’s speed over four games that saw them outscored, 13-3.
The Predators might be an unusually good No. 8 seed in a parity-filled NHL, but this still stands out as one of the bigger upsets in playoff history. Even if this isn’t quite the Miracle on Manchester, it goes down as one of the great surprises in hockey history.
The last NHL No. 1 seed to lose in the first round was the 2012 Vancouver Canucks, while the last NBA No. 1 seed to lose was the 2007 Dallas Mavericks. The Canucks got knocked out in five games by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. Frankly, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Predators rode this momentum to their first Cup in a similar manner.