One city. Two top playoff seeds eliminated. Welcome to Miami.
Last Wednesday, the No. 8 seed Miami Heat, behind titanic games from Jimmy Butler, eliminated the Milwaukee Bucks from the 2023 NBA playoffs. The Bucks were the top seed in the Eastern Conference and had the best record in the league. Four days later, the Florida Panthers, an 8-seed in the Stanley Cup playoffs, rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to knock off the Boston Bruins. Boston wasn’t just the top seed in its side of the bracket. The Bruins set the single-season NHL record for wins and points in a season.
The Panthers had 43 fewer points than the Bruins. It’s the second-largest negative regular-season point differential in a series win in Stanley Cup playoffs history, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Boston didn’t lose three games in a row during the regular season and turned around and lost three straight in the first round to become the 10th consecutive Presidents’ Trophy winner to not reach the Stanley Cup Final.
The Heat were quick to congratulate the Panthers and take a shot at both the Bucks and Bruins.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the second time that the teams with the best regular-season records in the NHL and NBA both lost in the first round. The last time was 2012 when the Vancouver Canucks lost to the Los Angeles Kings and the Chicago Bulls lost to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Bruins also join the single-season wins record-holders in the NBA, MLB and NFL to not win a championship in the year they set the record.
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