It is certainly not the first time the Celtics or the Bruins have lost a home Game 7 to be eliminated from the playoffs, but the two Boston franchises did make unfortunate history this season. Per John Hollinger of The Athletic, Boston became the first city to lose a home Game 7 to an 8-seed in both hockey and basketball in the same season.
As obscure as it may sound, it is quite the stat considering the playoff success that both franchises have historically had this postseason. Despite the disappointing playoff defeats for both franchises, there is one common thread: A plucky 8-seed that played below expectations in the regular season and peaked at the right time.
The Panthers were one year removed from winning NHL’s Presidents’ Trophy for best regular-season record. Florida battled injuries all year but got healthy and is now playing in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Golden Knights.
The Heat were a one-seed last year and lost to the Celtics on their home floor in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. This year, Miami was minutes away from being eliminated in the play-in tournament but fought back to make the playoffs as an 8-seed and go on a run to the NBA Finals.
Two well-run South Florida franchises have doomed Boston sports teams as No. 8 seeds in two different sports in the same year, which may never be seen again.