WITH THEIR 4--1 victory over the Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, the Blues pulled off the most improbable in-season turnaround in sports history—from last place in the standings on Jan. 2 (nearly halfway through their season) to champions by June 12. No other title winner has ever come close to St. Louis's long-shot run, which earned one Blues fan a $100,000 return on a $400 bet from January. Even the 2011--12 L.A. Kings, the only No. 8 seed to win the Stanley Cup, were a .500 team at their lowest point.
As for the other pro leagues, no eventual champ has stood so low in the standings so late in the season as this year's ultimate underdog Blues.
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
Record at lowest point
Place in standings
15-18-4 (45% of season)
7th in Central Division; 31st in NHL
1--3 (25% of season)
3rd in AFC East; T-23rd in NFL
29--28 (70% of season)
2nd in the Central Division; 8th in NBA
19--29 (30% of season)
5th in NL East; 25th in MLB
Upon Further Review
The Women's World Cup has been hijacked by an acronym: VAR, or video assistant referee, is intended to correct "clear and obvious" human errors. But that hasn't stopped the reversal of questionable calls, like an apparent France goal in the round of 16 that was disallowed after officials dubiously ruled scorer Valérie Gauvin had fouled Brazil's goalkeeper. Meanwhile, penalties have been awarded after slowed-down replay made seemingly harmless movements look like fouls. Yes, VAR benefitted last year's men's World Cup and the most recent UEFA Champions League campaign, but this summer we're seeing the flip side—that there's still a human element to all this technology, and that's going to mean controversy.