Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Canucks, Bruins looking for seventh heaven
For the 16th time in Stanley Cup Final history, and the sixth time since 2001 we are headed for a Game 7. For some reference, between 1956 and 2000 there were only four Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Final.
Despite having been outscored by 11 goals this series the Vancouver Canucks enter Game 7 as the favorite thanks to having home ice. Home teams are 12-3 all-time in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. Going further, no Canadian-based team has lost a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final at home.
Across all sports hosting a Game 7 in the finals has provided a huge advantage. In fact 19 of the last 20 "Championship" Game 7s in the NHL, NBA and MLB have been won by the home team.
However, the lone loss was the last Stanley Cup Final to go the distance back in 2009 when the Pittsburgh Penguins won at the Detroit Red Wings.
The Canucks have won all three games at home this series, each by a one-goal margin. If the Canucks win, it will be the fourth time all seven games were won by the home team and the first since 2003 when the Devils defeated the Anaheim Ducks.
It's interesting to note that only four teams have ever won the Stanley Cup while being outscored in the final. Barring an offense outburst in Game 7, if Vancouver emerged victorious they would likely finish with the worst negative goal differential of any Stanley Cup champion.
If the Boston Bruins win, they will be the fifth team to erase a 2-0 series deficit in the Stanley Cup Final and win the series.
It would also be their first title since 1972, snapping the second-longest active drought among Original Six teams (Toronto Maple Leafs haven't won since 1967).
Boston should be prepared Wednesday night as it will be the Bruins third Game 7 this postseason. According to Elias the Colorado Avalanche in 2002 and the Maple Leafs in 1993 are the only teams in NHL history that have played three Game 7s in a single postseason. The Bruins would be the first to win three in a single postseason.
Still Game 7s have provided their fair share of heartbreak to Bruins fans recently. The Bruins have been eliminated in a Game 7 in the each of the last three years.
Our good friends at Elias tell us no team in the history of the NHL, NBA or MLB has ever been eliminated in a Game 7 in four straight years.