|Photo via CSMonitor.com|
The 2013 Stanley Cup has turned into an eight game series. Literally. I know what you're thinking right now, but here me out. With the amount of minutes played during the first two games of the Stanley Cup, there's no getting around that fact that we're looking at a minimum of an eight game series.
Are you still scratching your head? Let me break it down for you.
In game one, the Bruins and Blackhawks played an incredible triple overtime game. Unfortunately, Lord Stanley saw it wise to give a little extra "help" (in the form of a double redirect) to the Blackhawks as they won in triple overtime at the 12:08 mark. The game totaled 112:08, just eight minutes shy of playing the equivalent of two regulation NHL games - remember, this was game one of the series!
Fast forward to game two on Saturday where, once again, the Bruins and Blackhawks went into overtime. This time he B's found fortune on their side as Paille scored the game winning goal at the 13:48 mark of the first overtime. Combined, the Bruins and Blackhawks have played a total of 185:56 of hockey in the first two games of this series. My brain is officially scrambled.
So, what does this mean?
First, it means both teams have played a little over three games (in terms of total ice time) during the first two games of this Stanley Cup series. If that wasn't tiring enough, they meet tonight in what's shaping up to be an overtime ridden Stanley Cup moving forward. Good luck gentlemen.
If each game continues to come down to the wire, or extend beyond regulation, the advantage in this series shifts in favor of Boston, and history proves this.
During the Blackhawks 2009-2010 Stanley Cup run, Chicago played a total of 22 games on their way to winning the Cup against the Philadelphia Flyers. Three out of four of those series went to a game six, including the Stanley Cup series against Philadelphia. Currently, the Blackhawks (excluding the Stanley Cup series) have played 17 playoff games including a seven game series against the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Semifinals. So what's my point?
In four years, including this Stanley Cup finals run, the Blackhawks have only played two game sevens in the playoffs. One was against the Vancouver Canucks in 2011 and the another against the Detroit Red Wing this year. Their overall record for game sevens is 1-1 in the last four years. The Bruins have taken a far different path during that time.
When the Bruins made their run at Lord Stanley's cup, they played a total of 25 games en route to hoisting hockey's greatest trophy. During their Stanley Cup series in 2011 against the Vancouver Canucks the B's won four out of five games, including a game seven in Vancouver, to secure the Cup for Title Town - no easy feat for any professional sports team.
Since the 2009-2010 playoffs, the Bruins have played a total of six game sevens. Out of those six, the Bruins have won four of them including three during their Cup run in 2010-2011. To say the B's have significant experience going deep into the playoffs is the definition of an understatement.
Looking at the stats, there are two different conclusions you could come to. However, history has shown us only one result - the longer this series goes, the more it favors the Boston Bruins. Period.
Follow Scott Levesque on Twitter at @scottlevesque.