Wait, What?

This insane stat shows that legendary regular-season success in pro sports is a death knell in the playoffs

April 18, 2019
Andrei Vasilevskiy
Kirk Irwin

Following their first-round choke after their historic regular season, the Tampa Bay Lightning have understandably caught plenty of heat. Frankly, when you're sending out tweets like this after the loss, you deserve everything that comes your way. The way they have handled the 4-0 sweep at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets, from head coach Jon Cooper all the way down to the social media team, has been a debacle.

But as dark as these times may be for the franchise, the Lightning should not feel alone, as they are now part of a group that no professional sports team wants to find itself in, but a group nonetheless. Hey, it's better to share suffering with others than to suffer in solitude, a wise man once said (no one has ever said this).

The type of loss the Lightning went through is part of a bigger, wild pro sports trend pointed out by CBS Sports' Adam Schein on his daily "Time to Schein" show on Wednesday. The clip itself isn't really worth the full watch, and that's nothing against Schein. As far as I know he's quite talented, but a rant about the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who no one outside of the diehard puck fan has ever heard of or seen in their life, isn't going to really keep people's attention:

If you watched any of Cooper's postgame press conference, Schein's rant is very fair. Cooper looked less like a guy that just suffered one of the most shocking playoff series losses ever and more like a guy who was thinking "oh well, maybe we'll get 'em next year." But again, if Cooper went "door-to-door" in Tampa Bay to apologize to people, most folks would say "sir, who are you?" But I digress.

What will grab your attention is the graphic near the end of the video, depicting the death knell that is legendary regular-season success in pro sports:

(ENHANCE)

In all four major pro sports, the single season record holder for victories has NEVER gone on to win the championship in their respective sport. If this was common knowledge, my apologies, but I personally was taken aback. To Schein's point, when put up against the five other teams that had huge regular season success, the Lightning really may be the biggest let down of all given the fact they lost in the opening round. All five other teams in this legion of let downs at least made the semifinals of their sport's playoffs. The Lightning didn't even win a damn game.

Based off this trend, maybe the theory that it's better to get a loss, or a few losses depending on the sport, out of the way before the postseason starts has some value. As the Lightning found out, the pressure that kind of regular-season success brings is immense, not to mention everyone you play is looking to knock out the favorite. Oh well, better luck next year.

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