The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2022 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down the NHL playoff games today with the all-important television information.
• While the Lightning keep resting up, they’ll find out their opponent as the Hurricanes and Rangers clash in Game 7 on Monday.
• Fans get treated to a playoff clash of superstars out West. Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and the Oilers will face Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, and the Avalanche in the 2022 Western Conference Final.
• Jason Spezza announced his retirement from the NHL on Sunday. He’s joining the Maple Leafs front office.
As exciting as a Game 7 can be (and as much as NHL coaches obsess about staying sharp over getting rested), most teams would admit it’s not a “best practice” to play too many do-or-die contests. That said, it’s startling just how proficient both the Rangers and Hurricanes have been in Game 7 situations.
During their past eight Game 7 matchups, the Rangers have won seven and lost once. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, have been perfect since relocating from Hartford. If they prevail over the Rangers on Monday, the Hurricanes would become the first team in NHL history to win seven consecutive Game 7 contests.
Ultimately, something has to give in Game 7 on Monday (8 p.m. ET).
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and recall the many Game 7 high points for the Hurricanes and Rangers.
Hurricanes: a perfect 6-0 in Game 7s since relocating
2006 Stanley Cup run powered by Game 7 wins
Some of Rod Brind’Amour’s best moments as a player took place as the Hurricanes shockingly won a Stanley Cup in the batty 2005-06 season.
As far as Game 7s go, the Hurricanes first beat the Sabres 4-2 at home in the 2006 Eastern Conference Final.
Buffalo Sabres fans likely attach a lot of angst — though a different flavor of angst than recent feelings related to futility — to this one. A banged-up Buffalo blueline eventually caved in, with Jay McKee’s puck over the glass burned into many memories.
A couple weeks later, the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup by overcoming Chris Pronger and an even-more-unlikely Oilers finalist in a Game 7.
‘Shock at the Rock’ and other past Hurricanes Game 7 triumphs
On April 28, 2009, it looked like the Devils would hold on for a home Game 7 win against the Hurricanes. (Or, at least, the game would go into overtime).
Instead, Jussi Jokinen and Eric Staal stunned Brodeur and the Devils with two late goals, producing “The Shock at the Rock.”
If you want a very deep dive on “The Shock at the Rock,” check out this 2020 breakdown from Ford Hatchett of Canes Country.
During that same 2009 run, the Hurricanes beat the Bruins in overtime in Boston. Let’s just say Scott Walker was a touch excited. It’s the sort of moment that lingers for certain Bruins fans.
Modern era, plus a note about the past
The Hurricanes wouldn’t play another Game 7 for about a decade.
On April 24, 2019, Rod Brind’Amour won his first playoff series as Hurricanes head coach when Brock McGinn scored off of a Justin Williams deflection against the Capitals in double overtime. You can see that goal around the three-minute mark:
The sixth Hurricanes Game 7 win should be fresh in most memories. With two Max Domi goals, the Hurricanes controlled Game 7 against the Bruins in the First Round.
So, that covers the Hurricanes’ history in such “win or go home” situations. It’s worth noting that, while they’re 6-0 in Game 7s as the Carolina Hurricanes, the franchise lost all three Game 7 contests as the Hartford Whalers.
Rangers’ iconic 1994 Stanley Cup win featured Game 7 triumphs
Naturally, the New York Rangers boast a longer Game 7 history, including losing their first four such contests in 1939, 1950, 1971, and 1974.
However, the Rangers’ more recent Game 7 history is rich with success.
Some of the most iconic moments from the Rangers’ curse-killing 1994 Stanley Cup run came in Game 7 situations. MSG Network put together a nice little documentary of Stephane Matteau’s memorable Game 7 heroics for the Rangers over the Devils.
(Fans in the tri-state area will either want you to know that the Rangers also beat the Devils in a 1992 Game 7, or really not want to broach the subject, in general.)
Then, Mark Messier, Brian Leetch and the Rangers beat the Canucks in Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Final:
Plenty of recent successes
While the Rangers haven’t won a Stanley Cup since then that remarkable streak-breaking run, they’ve won a lot of Game 7 matchups nonetheless.
Over the last decade, the Rangers won two Game 7 matches against the Penguins and Capitals; in each case, one win came at Madison Square Garden, while the other happened on the road.
The vast majority of those contests have happened at Madison Square Garden.
That includes the Rangers completing their First Round comeback against the Penguins in Game 7 this postseason. There were plenty of dramatics in that one, as the Rangers needed to rally to win in overtime.
[NHL Power Rankings: 2021-22 surprises]
Will the Hurricanes strange home/road dichotomy continue in Game 7, or will the Rangers remain scrappy while facing elimination?
For what it’s worth, the NHL notes that home teams are 111-78 all-time in Game 7s (58.7%). Normally, you’d say that Carolina hopes history repeats itself. Considering the success of both franchises in these situations, it may be important to ask: “Whose history?”
2022 NHL playoff schedule: Eastern Conference Final
CAROLINA HURRICANES/NEW YORK RANGERS v. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Game 1 – June 1: Lightning at Hurricanes/Rangers, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN, CBC, TVAS)
Game 2 – June 3: Lightning at Hurricanes/Rangers, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN, CBC, TVAS)
Game 3 – June 5: Hurricanes/Rangers at Lightning, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN, CBC, TVAS)
Game 4 – June 7: Hurricanes/Rangers at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN, SN, CBC, TVAS)
*Game 5 – June 9: Lightning at Hurricanes/Rangers, 8 p.m. ET (TBD)
*Game 6 – June 11: Hurricanes/Rangers at Lightning, 8 p.m. ET (TBD)
*Game 7 -June 14: Lightning at Hurricanes/Rangers, 8 p.m. ET (TBD)
* If necessary
2022 NHL playoff schedule: Western Conference Final
EDMONTON OILERS v. COLORADO AVALANCHE
Game 1 – May 31: Oilers at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET (TNT, SN, CBC, TVAS)
Game 2 – June 2: Oilers at Avalanche, 8 p.m. ET (TNT, SN, CBC, TVAS)
Game 3 – June 4: Avalanche at Oilers, 8 p.m. ET (TNT, SN, CBC, TVAS)
Game 4 – June 6: Avalanche at Oilers, 8 p.m. ET (TNT, SN, CBC, TVAS)
*Game 5 – June 8: Oilers at Avalanche, TBD
*Game 6 – June 10: Avalanche at Oilers, TBD
*Game 7 – June 12: Oilers at Avalanche, TBD
* If necessary