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History says winning Game 3 after split is pretty important

Jun 17, 2013, 1:58 PM EDT

Hossa and Bergeron Getty Images

Just thought we’d pass along this note the NHL sent along this morning in its daily “Stanley Cup of Joe” email to the media:

* Teams winning Game 3 after splitting the first two games of the Final have gone on to win the Stanley Cup 21 of 25 times (84.0%) since the Final adopted the best-of-seven format beginning in 1939.

* The four teams in that scenario to win the Stanley Cup after losing Game 3 were the 1964 Maple Leafs (seven games), 1989 Flames (six games), 1991 Penguins (six games) and 2004 Lightning (seven games).

* This marks the first split in the opening two games of the Stanley Cup Final since 2004, when Calgary won the first game on the road and Tampa Bay came back to win Game 2.

Admittedly, the 84% stat lacks context. The Bruins and Blackhawks have been remarkably evenly matched so far. Whoever wins tonight will still have a lot of work to do.

In other words, it’s a bit different than, say, 1979 — the last Original Six match-up in the Stanley Cup Final — when the Rangers won Game 1 in Montreal, then lost the next four to one of the greatest collections of players ever assembled.

Still a big game though. It’s a best-of-five now.

  1. adambballn - Jun 17, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    I’m not too concerned about this stat… if the Hawks steal a game tonight or Wednesday in Boston to take home ice back and even the series at 2-2 I’ll be happy.

  2. timmeh022 - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    I think the best of 5 will become a best of 3 on Wednesday.

  3. dt58 - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    The way these teams are matching up I think and hope it’ll be 7 games

  4. dboldave - Jun 17, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    Nothing annoys me more than the ole “the team that does this, wins 80% of the time”. It’s sports and if the Bruins win tonight, I won’t feel like this is over by any means.

  5. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:09 PM

    Odd numbered games in a series are always the most important. 3 is huge because you don’t want to go down three games or in this case 1 game. If you’re still in after 4 your either tied or its 3-1. Game 5 you want to go for the kill or you’re trying to survive. Game 6 is big for both teams, but one of the teams is not on the brink of elimination. Game 7 is, well do or die for both teams.

  6. joestemme - Jun 17, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    You can pooh-pooh stats all you want, but, 25-4 is a pretty impressive one. Of course, NO stat determines the outcome of a given series, but, it does bear looking at.

  7. tripps3 - Jun 17, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    History of odds really doesn’t seem to fit or dictate either BH or BB this year

  8. comeonnowguys - Jun 17, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    Barring some giant revelation tonight, I’m not sure the winner of this wins it in less than six.

  9. hockeyflow33 - Jun 17, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    I think everyone will be shocked if this series doesn’t go 7 games

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