The Boston Bruins lost Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals in brutal fashion. Up 2-1 with 1:15 left in regulation, the Chicago Blackhawks tied the game. Then 17 seconds later, Dave Bolland scored shocking everyone at TD Garden. Chicago would go on to win the game and the cup. But where does the Bruins Game 6 loss rank among the worst losses in Boston sports History? Here’s my top 5:
5. Red Sox lose Final Game of 2011 season to complete collapse and miss playoffs
The Boston Red Sox had a 9-game lead in the AL Wild Card on September 4th, but lost 12 of their next 19 games. On the final day of the season, the Red Sox and Rays were tied. Leading 3-2 with 2 outs and no one on in the ninth, Boston was 1 out away from advancing to the playoffs.
Chris Davis hit a double, Nolan Reimold doubled after that to tie the game. Then Robert Andino hit a ball that should have been caught by Carl Crawford who missed it allowing Reimold to score the winning run.
With the loss, and the Rays coming back from a 7-0 deficit, the Red Sox became the first team in MLB history to miss the postseason when leading by as many as 9 games entering September. Even on the last day of the season, the Red Sox looked like they were going to avoid collapsing leading in the 9th, only to lose in heartbreaking fashion.
4. Pats dream of 19-0 falls short in Super Bowl 42 loss to Giants
The Patriots were on the verge of completing the first undefeated season in the NFL since the 1972 Dolphins. All the talk was 19-0, and New England had the lead with a minute to go.
That’s when David Tyree made one of the best catches in Super Bowl History against his head on a broken play. Giants quarterback Eli Manning threw a desperation heave that somehow was caught. With 35 seconds remaining, Manning hit Plaxico Burress for a touchdown to give the Giants the lead and break the hearts of Patriot faithfuls.
The Patriots were 1 minute away from the greatest season in NFL history and perhaps sports history. New England dominated all season and the team was so close, yet so far.
3. Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Finals
Down 3-2 in the Stanley Cup Finals, the Bruins were leading with 1:15 remaining and gave up 2 goals in 17 seconds to lose the game and the series. In a span of 17 seconds, the mood went from the Bruins were going to force a Game 7 and have a chance to win the cup, to the season’s over and the Blackhawks are going to win.
It’s one of the most painful ways to lose any game, let alone one that ends a season.
2. Yankees shortstop Buckey Dent’s 3-run home run in 1978 one game playoff
In July, the Red Sox held a 14 1/2 game lead on the Yankees. There was never a doubt Boston would win the division. The Yankees cut the lead to 4 games going into a 4-game series against Boston. New York swept Boston in the series and tied the Red Sox for the division lead in what has since been called “The Boston Massacre”.
Over the remaining games of the season, both teams went back and forth and were once again tied heading into a decisive one game playoff. The Red Sox behind Mike Torrez were leading 2-0 with 2 outs in the 7th when the light hitting Bucky Dent came up with 2 runners on.
Dent hit what seemed like a routine fly ball to left field that landed on top of the monster giving the Yankees a lead. Reggie Jackson hit a homer in the 8th to extend the lead ending Boston’s season.
The Red Sox looked poised to win the division and have a chance to win their first championship since 1918. A 14 1/2 game lead looked insurmountable, but Boston blew it.
1. Game 6 of the 1986 World Series
Game 6 of the 1986 World Series may be the most painful loss in the history of sports. Boston led the Mets 5-3 with 2 outs and no one on base. The Red Sox were 1 out away from ending the curse of the Bambino.
What followed was unthinkable. Gary Carter kept the Mets alive with a single, Kevin Mitchell was next and he too hit a single. Ray Knight then hit a blooper to shallow center that scored Carter and sent the tying run Mitchell to 3rd base.
Bob Stanley came in to pitch to Mookey Wilson but threw a wild pitch allowing Mitchell to score the tying run. Wilson had an outstanding 10-pitch at bat that culminated with a routine ground ball to first that “Got through Buckner” and trickled into right field. Ray Knight scored and the Red Sox lost the game and would lose the series in 7 games.
Up by 2 with 2 outs, no one on, and one out away from a title, the Mets somehow fought back to win the game. On that stage, being so close to victory, it doesn’t get much worse than that.