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0-3 deficits don’t seem so impossible to overcome these days

Apr 25, 2014, 4:14 PM EDT

Justin Williams, Antti Niemi AP

The first time it happened was in the 1942 Stanley Cup Final. The Detroit Red Wings won the first three games of the series, only to lose the next four to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It happened again in 1975. This time it was the New York Islanders that fought back from 3-0 down, stunning the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round.

The third, and only other time, it happened was in 2010, when the Boston Bruins went up three games to none over the Philadelphia Flyers, only to lose the next four by a combined score of 15-8.

So yeah, it’s been rare. When a team digs itself a 3-0 hole, almost always it ends up buried in it.

Then again, it nearly happened again in 2011, when the Canucks needed overtime to beat the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 7 of their first-round series, which Vancouver once led 3-0.

And remember the 2012 playoffs, when the Penguins put a bit of a scare into the Flyers, turning a 3-0 deficit into 3-2, before Philadelphia triumphed in Game 6? The Devils did the same thing in the Stanley Cup Final, when they fought back from 3-0 before losing Game 6 to the Kings.

At the very least, those two series became interesting, and that’s exactly what the Kings will be trying to make their best-of-seven with the Sharks on Saturday in San Jose. Win Game 5 and things would definitely get interesting, especially with Game 6 set for Monday at Staples Center.

We are, after all, talking about a San Jose team that’s experienced its share of postseason letdowns. Just to throw it out there. (Sorry, Sharks fans.)

We’re also talking about a very different NHL than the one that existed prior to the salary cap. For all you young kids who may be reading, let’s just say first-round matchups in the current era are a touch different than some of the first-round matchups we saw back in the day when 16 out of 21 teams made the playoffs and actual dynasties still existed.

For example, in 1989, there wasn’t much confidence that the 79-point Hartford Whalers were going to come back against the 115-point Montreal Canadiens. And wouldn’t you know it, they didn’t. (Though they did push Game 4 to overtime, losing on a Russ Courtnall tally.)

Look, are we predicting a Kings comeback? Of course not. Even if the difference between L.A. and San Jose is far smaller than the one between the Whalers and Habs, the odds remain very much against the Kings.

But if they win Saturday, just remember we wrote this.

(And if they lose, oh well, we didn’t predict they’d come back anyway.)

  1. sjsblitz - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    Possible? Yes. Probable? Not very.

  2. ibieiniid - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    “But if they win Saturday, just remember we wrote this.

    (And if they lose, oh well, we didn’t predict they’d come back anyway.)”

    sounds like every joey post and repost.

  3. chunkala - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    Improbable but much more likely with today’s rules and the fact that players’ don’t make the mental makeup to hold leads/finish off opponents.

  4. everyonesuksbutme - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    Losing a series in 6 games after trailing 0-3 is NOT a comeback…not even close….your a dufus

    • Jason Brough - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      No, your won.

  5. 950003cups - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    It’s over. SJ is going to the finals. They’ll lose to Boston in 5.

    • titansrbeast - Apr 25, 2014 at 5:30 PM

      Thanks for saving us the time of watching the playoffs Mr. 950003cups….

      Oh wait, I didn’t realize you actually never watched a hockey game in your life and have no clue what you’re talking about. Thanks for your useless opinion anyways.

  6. wjarvis - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    I definitely thought that the Hawks were going to beat the Canucks in 2011 when Toews scored the late shorthanded goal to force the game 7 ot. While I remember Campoli wasn’t horrible as a Hawk, his turnover is still about all I clearly remember of his stint with the Hawks.

    Oh, the Kings aren’t going to beat the Sharks, and forcing a game 6 is not a comeback. This article seems to get written each year, yet there is never the analysis done to show what percentage of the teams lose in 4, 5, 6, or 7 games after going down 0-3, only that 3 teams have come back to win.

  7. hookersdontsnuggle - Apr 25, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    Didnt even read the article. Just wanted to say fu*k the kings and their fans.

    • patthehockeyfan - Apr 25, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      Nice talk. You kiss your grandchildren with that mouth?

      A Kings Fan

      P.S. I’m guessing you have a lot of relevant experience judging by your screen name. gfy

      • machosasquatcho - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        Nice comment.

        Someone without sockpuppets, unlike you, blomfeld.

        You’re such useless filth, blomfeld.

  8. jonnyhammersticks - Apr 25, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    The Hartford Whalers were the greatest franchise in the history of pro sports and humanity as we once knew it ended when they moved.

    • drewzducks - Apr 25, 2014 at 6:23 PM

      Amen brother. Now, for your listening enjoyment:

    • aldog83 - Apr 26, 2014 at 3:02 AM




  9. sjsharks66 - Apr 25, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    Like stated above. Is it possible? Of course it is! It is also possible that I can stumble across a wallet with hundreds of dollars laying on the street. Will that happen to me? Probably not!

    Kings have to win 2 games in San Jose. I just can’t see that happening. Us Sharks fans have seen this happen before, with Detroit. That turned out alright. Except the injuries…

    Finish it in 5 Sharks!

    • nightfireop - Apr 25, 2014 at 8:46 PM

      that actually happened to me once before, fortunately i was able to return it to the man who dropped it.

  10. Professor Fate - Apr 25, 2014 at 8:45 PM

    If the Kings show the life they finally discovered last game they can extend this series. If they come out looking like they did the first couple of games then the series is over.

  11. blomfeld - Apr 25, 2014 at 11:47 PM


    (Kings 6 / Siegfried & Roy 3)

    That’s the spirit Brough ! … nothing’s ever over til it’s over eh ? :)

    Friends, what happened to us Kings in the first three games of this series was a ‘shock’ no doubt and it was very ‘upsetting’ to say the least. Yet last night ‘something’ happened which felt very different, yet paradoxically very familiar ? In fact, it was a ‘something’ which I believe we all know to be true in our hearts and minds. This series was ‘never’ in doubt as our LA Kings are the ‘best’ ever bar none ! … today, tomorrow and forever ! :) :) :)


    1) Jonathan Quick :)
    2) Martin Jones :)
    3) Ben Scrivens
    4) Jonathan Bernier
    5) Cory Schneider

    674) Anti Eminem
    675) Jim Neighbors
    676) Alexander Ovechkin

    *** earlier this evening at an ‘upscale’ bar on the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin ***

    Stransky: well Blom, who do you prefer in the second round ?

    Blomfeld: Josef, you know that we still have some work to do here eh ?

    Meyer: oh, come on Blom ! … it’s only a ‘mopping up’ operation from here on in !

    Blomfeld: granted, however my concern is our ‘condition’ after we’ve put these fools to rest ?

    Stransky: the butcher’s bill will be kind to us, trust me Blom … personally, I hope we get the Ducks …

    Meyer: I agree, the Ducks would be a ‘perfect’ second round punching bag for us !

    Blomfeld: you guys are probably right, as an ass-kicking of a ‘local’ would probably serve us well …

    Stransky: entschuldigen Sie mich Kellnerin, konnten wir bitte haben eine andere Portion von Bier?

    • machosasquatcho - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      Grade A content from a grade A commenter.

      Oh wait, what I meant to say was you’re a piece of crap and everything you say is useless pollution.

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