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How sweet is a sweep?

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While we wait to find out who the Bruins will play in round 2, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how teams that have swept their first round opponent have historically fared. Over the course of the previous 20 NHL seasons there have been 18 teams that have put away their first round foe in 4 games. Of those 18 teams, 4 have gone on to win the Stanley Cup, while 10 teams never made it past the next round. In the past 20 years of playoff hockey, teams that have completed the sweep in the first round have a record of just 8-10 in the second round.


First Round Sweep Playoff Fate
2008 Pittsburgh Penguins over Ottawa Lost in Stanley Cup Finals to Detroit 4-2
2007 New York Rangers over Atlanta Lost in 2nd Round to Buffalo 4-2
2006 New Jersey Devils over New York Rangers Lost in 2nd Round to Carolina 4-1
2005 Lockout
2004 No 1st Round Sweeps
2003 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim over Detroit Lost in Stanley Cup Finals to New Jersey 4-3
2002 No 1st Round Sweeps
2001 Toronto Maple Leafs over Ottawa Lost in 2nd Round to New Jersey 4-3

Colorado Avalanche over Vancouver Won Stanley Cup 
2000 New Jersey Devils over Florida Won Stanley Cup 
1999 Buffalo Sabres over Ottawa Lost in Stanley Cup Finals to Dallas 4-2

Dallas Stars over Edmonton Won Stanley Cup 

Detroit Red Wings over Anaheim Lost in 2nd Round to Colorado 4-2
1998 St. Louis Blues over Los Angeles Lost in 2nd Round to Detroit 4-2
1997 No 1st Round Sweeps
1996 Chicago Blackhawks over Calgary Lost in 2nd Round to Colorado 4-2
1995 No 1st Round Sweeps
1994 Dallas Stars over St. Louis Lost in 2nd Round to Vancouver 4-1

New York Rangers over New York Islanders Won Stanley Cup 
1993 Buffalo Sabres over Boston Lost in 2nd Round to Montreal 4-0

St. Louis Blues over Chicago Lost in 2nd Round to Toronto 
1992 No 1st Round Sweeps
1991 No 1st Round Sweeps
1990 No 1st Round Sweeps
1989 Pittsburgh Penguins over New York Rangers Lost in 2nd Round to Philadelphia 4-3

Montreal Canadiens over Hartford Lost in Stanley Cup Finals to Calgary 4-2
1988 No 1st Round Sweeps

 

The Bruins have swept a series in the first round* five times throughout their history (6 counting this year). Of those five times, the Bruins have advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals three times. The 1928-1929 Boston Bruins swept the Montreal Canadiens and went on to win the Stanley Cup

*For the purpose of this analysis, the term "first round" refers to the first playoff series in which the Bruins played in that season. The NHL has used different playoff formats throughout the league's history, including the use of preliminary round byes.

Bruins First Round Sweep Playoff Fate
1979 Bruins over Pittsburgh Lost Next Round to Montreal 4-3
1978 Bruins over Chicago Lost in Stanley Cup Finals to Montreal 4-2
1974 Bruins over Toronto Lost in Stanley Cup Finals to Philadelphia 4-2
1969 Bruins over Toronto Lost in Next Round to Montreal 4-2
1929 Bruins over Montreal Won Stanley Cup