Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wings vs Pens - History of Final Game Sevens

Game Sevens always make me nervous.

The last home team to lose a game seven in the finals was the Chicago Black Hawks in 1971. They lost to the Montreal Canadians. That Hab team had Ken Dryden in goal. He won the Conn Smythe (Playoff MVP) trophy that year. The Habs brought him up to the big club late in the year. He won the Rookie of the year trophy the following season because he had not played enough regular season games to qualify as a rookie the previous year. I expect that feat (winning the Conn Smythe one year, and the rookie of the year the next season) will never be duplicated. The series winning goal was scored by Henri Richard (the Pocket Rocket) at 2:34 of the third period.

Since 2000, four Cup finals have gone to a seventh game. The Hurricanes beat the Oilers in 2006, the Lightning beat the Flames in 2004, the Devils beat the Ducks (coached by Mike Babcock) in 2003 and the Avalanche beat the Devils in 2001.

In the nineties only one Stanley Cup Final went the distance. In 1994, the Rangers beat the Canucks to end a long drought.

In the eighties, only one Stanley Cup Final went the distance. The Oilers beat the Flyers in 1987.

In the seventies, the only final that went seven games was the aforementioned 1971 final between the Hawks and the Habs. The Hawks won the first two games at the old Chicago Stadium. The Habs won game seven in Chicago by a final score of three to two.

In the sixties, two final series went the distance. The Habs beat the Hawks in 1965 and the Leafs beat the Red Wings in 1964.

I'm looking forward to a great game at the Joe on Friday night. History is on the side of the Wings, but there is a reason that we play the games!

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