Tag: Stanley Cup finals

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 06: Steve Bernier #18 of the New Jersey Devils checks Alec Martinez #27 of the Los Angeles Kings in Game Four of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 6, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Fact File: Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals

The New Jersey Devils didn’t hold the lead for a single moment in the first three games of the Stanley Cup finals, a trend continued until 7:56 of the third period when the Devils scored the first goal of the game.

That lead lasted a whopping 62 seconds, but the Devils proved resilient by earning a 3-1 victory to force a Game 5.

Here are some interesting facts to chew on:

— This has truly been the year of the road team. The visitors now have a 47-37 record in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the most road wins ever recorded in a single year of playoff hockey. The old record of 46 wins was set back in 1987.

— The New Jersey Devils are still looking for their first power-play goal of the Stanley Cup finals. They’re now 0-for-15 with the man advantage.

— With his empty-netter, Ilya Kovalchuk is now tied with Anze Kopitar, Claude Giroux, and Danny Briere for the league lead in playoff goals (eight).

— If the Los Angeles Kings win Game 5, they’ll set a record for the most road victories in a single playoff run. Their current total of 10 has them in a tie with the 2004 Calgary Flames, 2000 New Jersey Devils, and 1995 Devils.

— The last team to win the Stanley Cup at home was the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks.

— The Devils are just the sixth team to win Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals after dropping the first three games.

Devils aim to become first team in 70 years to overcome 3-0 series deficit in finals

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 4: A general view prior to the game between the Los Angeles Kings and the New Jersey Devils in Game Three of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 4, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)

History is against the New Jersey Devils.

That much is obvious given the Los Angeles Kings have a 3-0 series lead in the 2012 Stanley Cup finals.

But just how bad are things for the Devils?

The Kings are the 26th team to take a 3-0 series lead in the Cup finals. Of the previous 25, 20 have won Game 4. Four weren’t able to complete the sweep of their opponents, but still won it all.

The only group to ever overcome a 3-0 series deficit in the Stanley Cup finals is the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs. Seventy years ago, the league had seven teams, including the now defunct Brooklyn Americans (in previous seasons they were known as the New York Americans). That’s right, the last time a team accomplished what the New Jersey Devils need to do was before the Original Six era.

Of course, a history lesson won’t be enough to get the Devils to give in.

“We’re not going to quit until someone’s won a fourth game, so we start over,” captain Zach Parise said. “We’ve got to win four straight. That’s it.”

Parise does still have a reason to be optimistic, because the news isn’t all doom-and-gloom. It’s true that no team to has won Games 4 through 7 of the Stanley Cup finals since World War II, but what about the playoffs in general?

Just last year, both the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings managed to force a Game 7 after dropping the first three games of their respective series. Neither team could seal the deal, but it does show that a 3-0 lead can be squandered.

Then, factor in that a mere two years ago, the Philadelphia Flyers were able to defeat the Boston Bruins in the second round of the playoffs after falling down 3-0 in the series and 3-0 in Game 7.

The moral of the story is that the Los Angeles Kings haven’t won anything yet.

That being said, they’re very very close.

Vancouver spa offers gift certificates for rioters’ confessions

Riot Breaks Out After Game In Vancouver

Eccotique Spa in Vancouver is receiving quite a bit of attention this week. In an industry that is supposed to promote tranquility and relaxation, the rouge spa is making waves for a semi-controversial promotion. With the best interests of Vancouver surely at heart, the spa is offering $50 gift certificates to any individuals who come forward and confess to taking part in the riots after Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Yes, this is real.

Check out the slogan for the promotion:

“You didn’t pay for anything at the riots. Why stop now?”

But wait! There’s more! As if that slogan wasn’t perfection in its own right, the Spa’s president Milajne Soligo topped himself in a press release for the promotion. From the Toronto Sun:

“These people obviously had a lot of pent-up anger during all the chaos. We think they need to learn how to calm down and relax, which fits perfectly with our spa offerings.”

Again—yes, this is real. So far, no one has come forward and taken the spa up on their offer. They’d probably get a little more action if it weren’t for the clause in the promotion that calls for “proof of arrest.” Can’t they just take the fan’s misguided youth’s hooligans’ word for it?

Maybe they’re just beating Vancouver fans to the punch? If the Canucks lose in the finals again, fans might channel their inner-Hab fans and loot again. Wait, is it really possible to loot a massage?

NHL leads the four major sports in championship parity during the last 12 seasons

Boston Bruins v Vancouver Canucks - Game Seven

One of the most common debates in sports goes something like this: Should a league strive for widespread parity or for dynasties to establish long periods of dominance?

There’s some easy arguments for both sides. Parity is probably the superior money-maker because it naturally gives fans of just about every team (even the Florida Panthers) a reason to believe that “this might be the year.” On the other hand, that might lead some to believe that a given sports league is settling for mediocrity rather than the majestic dominance that comes with a truly great team running roughshod over its competition.

Perhaps the ideal scenario is a reasonable compromise between those opposing ideas: a nice variety of different champions that manages to include familiar faces along the way. That’s a tough balancing act to achieve, so it’s interesting to see how the four major sports (NHL, NFL, MLB and NBA) end up looking when it comes to parity. Kevin Oklobzija compared the championship matchups and winners over the past 12 seasons for each sport and found that the NHL has a slight advantage over its peers when it comes to parity. The NHL’s 12-season period goes from 1999-2011 because of the lockout, while the other sports factor in championship matches from 2000-2011.


17 different teams in the NHL finals; 10 different champions


16 different teams in the World Series; nine different champions


16 different teams in the Super Bowl; nine different champions


11 different teams in the NBA finals; six different champions.


It’s not surprising that professional basketball lends itself to dominance because that’s how the sport tends to work. There are less players involved (and a limited amount of room to work with), which allows superstars to establish eras of superiority – even in a salary cap era.

The most surprising thing might be that the NFL and MLB have an identical number of finalists and champions. It’s not surprising that the NFL has a lot of parity, with the New England Patriots being the football equivalent to the Detroit Red Wings. I wouldn’t have guessed that baseball had so much variety, though; in my minds eye, it’s a league where the rich (especially the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox) get richer while fans of the poorest teams have little hope. In a grand scheme of the playoffs, that might still be somewhat true, but the playoffs prove to be unpredictable. Baseball teams play 162 regular season games only to see a first round series that can end in three losses, which means that its playoffs can be even less representative of true dominance than other sports (which is saying something).

The interesting thing about the NHL’s end of the discussion is that the it represents the end of the Dead Puck (and salary-cap free) Era and then the first six post-lockout years. Naturally, I couldn’t help but wonder how much parity existed in the 12 previous seasons. Let’s take a look (keeping in mind that we’re looking at champions from those 12 years alone, not factoring in crossover wins by the Red Wings, Devils and Avs.)

Year   Winner Loser
1998   Detroit Red Wings Washington Capitals
1997   Detroit Red Wings Philadelphia Flyers
1996   Colorado Avalanche Florida Panthers
1995   New Jersey Devils Detroit Red Wings
1994   New York Rangers Vancouver Canucks
1993   Montreal Canadiens Los Angeles Kings
1992   Pittsburgh Penguins Chicago Blackhawks
1991   Pittsburgh Penguins Minnesota North Stars
1990   Edmonton Oilers Boston Bruins
1989   Calgary Flames Montreal Canadiens
1988   Edmonton Oilers Boston Bruins
1987   Edmonton Oilers Philadelphia Flyers
total   8 different champs 16 different teams


So if you look at parity as championship finalists and winners alone, then the NHL’s parity did increase a bit (two more champions, one extra finalist) in the most recent 12 seasons compared to its previous dozen. The last remnants of the true dynasty era are seen in 1987-1998, especially when you compare those years to 1975-1986; in those years just four teams (Montreal, Edmonton, the Islanders and Flyers) won all the titles while 10 different teams made the Stanley Cup finals.

It’s obviously not all about championships, though. The important thing is to have a solid mix of teams who are consistently in the hunt while also providing a little room for Cinderella stories. It seems like teams are figuring the salary cap era out to some extent now, with several teams who are consistent contenders (even ones whose pursuits have fallen short of the final round, particularly the San Jose Sharks) while other teams tend to come and go. We’ll have to see if these trends continue over the next 12 seasons, especially with a new CBA needed after the 2011-12 season.

Feel free to weigh in on the parity vs. dynasties debate in the comments.

PHT Stanley Cup finals Game 6 live chat

Boston Bruins v Vancouver Canucks - Game Five

The Stanley Cup is in the house and so is PHT at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. It’s Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals and the Vancouver Canucks have a chance to win the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history. The Boston Bruins would like to prevent that from happening on their home ice and force a Game 7 on Wednesday night.

Boston will need yet another stellar performance out of Tim Thomas to prolong the series whereas Vancouver could use a big game out of Roberto Luongo on the road to try and finish things off. Will Zdeno Chara and David Krejci be heroes tonight or will Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, and Ryan Kesler make their presence felt in Game 6? We’ll find out soon enough and we’ll be chatting live here until the game is over come Stanley Cup or not.

Join us for the live chat here.