New blog. Good stuff. Read the whole thing.
[...] No team in the long history of the NHL had ever gone ahead of their opponent 3 games to none in all four rounds of the .Stanley Cup Finals as the Kings have now done against Vancouver, St. Louis, Phoenix, and New Jersey. [...]
The NHL went to a four-round system in the 1974-75 season, but [...] the preliminary round – which [...] didn’t feature all 12 teams who made the playoffs as the four division winners got byes [...] – was only a Best-of-Three while the remaining three rounds were all Best-of-Sevens, so no one could have gone 3-0 in all four rounds.
In the 1979-80 season, the NHL expanded the playoffs to include 16 of its 21 teams. The first round became a Best-of-Five. That system lasted until the 1985-86 season, in which time no team won all three games in the first round and then [led] the next three all 3-0.
In 1986-87, the league expanded [to] four Best-of-Seven series [...]. In that time, two teams, the 1995 Detroit Red Wings and the 2008 Pittsburgh Penguins, led the first 3 rounds 3-0, but both lost at least the first two games in the [...] Finals (Detroit got swept by New Jersey and Pittsburgh lost in six to Detroit). It’s kind of odd that the last two teams to be so dominant through three rounds both bit the dust in the Finals. The [...] Kings are the first to [...] continue the streak into the [...] Finals [...].
In case you’re wondering whether it’s been done in the NBA, the answer is no, but a few teams have come close[,] since the 1984 season[,] when the NBA first required teams to win 3 games to advance out of the first round. [...] The 1986 Celtics and 1987 Lakers went 11-1 in the first three rounds, [...] and then won the first two games of the NBA Finals [before losing game three]. [T]he Lakers came pretty close again in the 2001 playoffs [...], but [...] lost Game 1 of the Final before winning the next 4 games. The Pistons led 3 rounds 3-0 in 1989, but dropped two of the first three to Chicago [...].
So the Kings have made not only NHL history, but North American sports history tonight.