Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Game Seven

We’re getting kind of spoiled by this Game Seven stuff. Friday, the Stanley Cup Final will be decided in a seventh game for the fifth time in the last eight seasons. Prior to 2001, there was a seven game Cup Final only three times in thirty-five seasons!
Personally, I’m hoping for overtime on Friday night. It has been FIFTY-FIVE years since a game seven OT decided a Cup. Detroit’s Tony Leswick beat the Canadiens 2-1 with an OT winner in 1954. The only other time it happened was 1950 when (again) Detroit’s Pete Babando knocked out the Rangers in double OT.

If the Wings do indeed prevail, this will be only the fourth Final to have every game won by the home team. In 2003 New Jersey and Anaheim did this, 1965 Montreal and Chicago won all their home games and in 1955 Detroit and Montreal were the first to turn the trick.

In the fourteen Cup Final game sevens, the home team has gone 12-2 with the 1971 Canadiens and 1945 Leafs the only road teams to win. In NHL playoff history, the home team in game seven has an 80-48 record for a .625 winning percentage.

Among the Wings and Pens, the players with the most playoff game sevens in their career are Nik Lidstrom (6 games, 3 assists), Brian Rafalski (6 games, 0 points), Chris Chelios (5 games, 0 points), Petr Sykora (5 games, 4 points), Bill Guerin (5 games, 3 goals) and Matt Cooke (5 games, 2 goals). Of course Pittsburgh’s Ruslan Fedotenko has a good game seven history, scoring both goals in Tampa Bay’s victory over Calgary in 2004. He has won all three game sevens he’s played in while scoring four points along the way.
Here's hoping we get to see some history made on Friday night.

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