Wednesday, June 15, 2011
History isn't on Bruins' side in Game 7
By Jeremy Lundblad
For the 16th time in Stanley Cup finals history, there will be a Game 7. But, playing away from home, history isn’t on the Bruins’ side,
Home teams are 12-3 all-time in the previous 15 games. Though it’s worth noting the last Game 7 was won by the road team (Pittsburgh over Detroit in 2009).
This isn’t a phenomenon reserved to hockey. In the NBA Finals, home teams are 14-3 in Game 7, including the Los Angeles Lakers victory over the Boston Celtics a year ago.
Of the last 20 championship game sevens in the NHL, NBA and MLB, 19 were won by the home team. The lone exception again was the 2009 Penguins. Before that, you have to go back to 1979. That’s when yet another team donning black and gold pulled it off. The Pittsburgh Pirates won Game 7 in Baltimore on the back of Willie Stargell (4-5, HR, 2 RBIs).
If the Bruins want to be the exception, they’ve picked the wrong country. NHL teams in Canada are a perfect 4-0 at home in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.
This is the first time the Bruins are appearing in Game 7 of a Stanley Cup finals, but they have plenty of experience in other Game 7s.
This will be the 22nd Game 7 in franchise history. At 11-10, the Bruins hold a slight edge over their opponents, but there’s one thing they haven’t done: Won a Game 7 on the road.
Boston is 0-4 all-time in road Game 7s, most recently losing in Montreal in the 2008 quarterfinals.
Win or lose, the Bruins will make history on Wednesday.
In each of the previous three seasons, the Bruins have been eliminated in a Game 7. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, they’d be the first team in history of the NHL, NBA or MLB to lose a Game 7 in four straight years.
But if the Bruins win, they will be the first NHL team to win three Game 7s in a single postseason. The 2002 Avalanche and 1992 Maple Leafs are the only others to even play three in one year, but neither took home the Cup.