Monday, 13 June 2011

Winner Takes All

It's now a best-of-one in the Stanley Cup Finals as Boston hammered Vancouver in Beantown for the third-straight time to win Game Six by a 5-2 score. I'm not sure why Boston is Roberto Luongo's kryptonite, but he had a short evening in the blue paint again tonight. For everything that has gone right for the Canucks in Vancouver, home ice has been just as advantageous for the Bruins. That leads me to ponder if the home team will hold serve in the all-important Game Seven.

There are some decisive statistics that jump out at me when looking at Game Seven results that decided a Stanley Cup winner. And while stats are just numbers, there are a variety of factors that go into these stats that help sway these numbers in one direction. Of course, all that matters on Wednesday night is which team is the better team on that night, but here are the stats for Game Sevens.

  • Home teams are 12-3 in the previous 15 Game Sevens that decided a Stanley Cup Champion. The three teams to overcome the home team's advantage? The 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins over Detroit, the 1971 Montreal Canadiens over Chicago, and the 1945 Toronto Maple Leafs over Detroit.
  • The Bruins are 0-0 in Stanley Cup-deciding Game Sevens while the Vancouver Canucks are 0-1. The Canucks dropped Game Seven of the 1994 Stanley Cup Final to the New York Rangers in New York by a 3-2 score.
  • Canadian teams are 4-0 in Game Sevens to decide a Stanley Cup Champion as the home team. The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs downed Detroit, the 1964 Toronto Maple Leafs downed Detroit, the 1965 Montreal Canadiens downed Chicago, and the 1987 Edmonton Oilers downed Philadelphia.
  • Only three times in the history of the Stanley Cup Final has the home team won every game. The 1955 Detroit Red Wings beat the Montreal Canadiens to become the first teams to accomplish the feat. The 1965 Montreal Canadiens defeated the Chicago Black Hawks to become the second teams to do it. And the 2003 New Jersey Devils downed the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim to become the third set of teams to win only at home.
  • Boston has never won a Game Seven on the road, going 0-4 all-time in those games. Howver, Boston is 2-0 in Game Sevens this year having downed Montreal and Tampa Bay in their quest for the Stanley Cup. Vancouver is 1-0 in Game Seven situations this year, having downed Chicago in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Clearly, the home teams are favoured in the decisive seventh game. The games in Vancouver thus far in the series have been low-scoring, defensive affairs, and I would expect much the same in Wednesday's game. Here's my prediction: Vancouver 2, Boston 1. Alex Edler and Chris Higgins score for the Canucks while Milan Lucic has the Boston goal.

What say you readers: who wins, what is the final score, and who scores the Stanley Cup-winning goal in your scenario?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

Peter Santellan said...

I dearly would like for Vancouver to win. This series is the same heart attack inducing type that the Chicago series was, and I wouldn't be surprised if both teams give their fans one more heart attack.

On a side note, bragging rights at home are on the line, since I'm currently engaged in a war of words with a Bruins fan.