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Sweep Success Moving Forward

Not this team is afraid to make history. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In 1986 the NHL changed their postseason format adding two games to opening playoff rounds, making it a best-of-seven series. Since then, there have been 30 first-round sweeps… 31, including last night’s Golden Knights sweep of the LA Kings.

Only four (‘01-COL, ‘00- NJ, ‘99-DAL, ‘94-NYR) of the thirty teams went on to win the Stanley Cup. Not the highest percentage (13%), but winning the first-round in four has proven to be an early indication of further success.

Looking back over the past ten years, teams that swept their first-round series had extended success in the postseason.

10 First-Round sweeps

  • 3 Stanley Cup Runner-ups
  • 3 Conference Championship Runner-ups
  • 4 Teams lost in Second-Round
  • 0 Stanley Cup Champions

The full breakdown of every sweep teams success is below, and as you’ll see, many clubs got very close to winning it all. Teams that close out their series in four games will have a better chance of going deeper. However, it has been 17 years since the last time a first-round sweeper hoisted the Cup.

Interesting enough, over that same ten-year span four NHL teams (‘17- PIT, ‘16- PIT, ‘13- CHI, ‘12- LAK) won the Stanley Cup winning their opening round series in five games, the gentleman’s sweep.

The Golden Knights will now get plenty of time to recover for their next series. A few ice baths, a few massages, and a few days of good rest will get the players ready for the conference semi-finals. Vegas fans should be rooting for Anaheim to extend their series against San Jose to six or seven games. Historically, Vegas would be in a great position to succeed.




• First Round (4-0) sweep over Calgary

• Second Round (4-3) over Edmonton

• Conference Final (2-4) lost to NAS

• Result: Won two rounds


• First Round (4-0) sweep over Chicago

• Second Round (4-1) win over St. Louis

• Conference Final (4-2) win over Anaheim

• Stanley Cup Finals (2-4) lost to Pittsburgh

• Result: Won three rounds



• First Round (4-0) sweep over Winnipeg

• Second Round (4-1) win over Calgary

• Conference Finals (3-4) lost to Chicago

• Result: Won two rounds



• First Round (4-0) sweep over Tampa Bay

• Second Round (4-3) win over Boston

• Conference Finals (2-4) lost to NYR

• Result: Won two rounds


San Jose

• First Round (4-0) sweep over Vancouver

• Second Round (3-4) lost to Los Angeles

• Result: Won first-round



• First Round (4-0) sweep over Arizona

• Second Round (3-4) to San Jose

• Result: Won first-round



• First Round (4-0) sweep over Columbus

• Second Round (4-3) win over Anaheim

• Conference Finals (4-1) win over Chicago

• Stanley Cup Finals (3-4) lost to Pittsburgh

• Result: Won three rounds


• First Round (4-0) sweep over St. Louis

• Second Round (2-4) lost to Chicago

• Result: Won first-round


• First Round (4-0) sweep over Montreal

• Second Round (3-4) lost to Carolina

• Result: Won first-round



• First Round (4-0) sweep over Ottawa

• Second Round (4-1) win over NY Rangers

• Conference Round (4-1) win over Philadelphia

• Stanley Cup Finals (2-4) lost to Detroit

• Result: Won three rounds




Business-Like Attitude After Sweep Proves VGK Aren’t Like Everyone Else

1 Comment

  1. Brian


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