Sports fans who like the drama of “win-or-go-home” Game Sevens have to be happy with the NBA and NHL playoffs this season. As we enter the final series in both sports, we have seen 12 Game Sevens (seven in the NHL and five in the NBA). That’s the most Game Sevens for the combined NBA and NHL playoffs in history.
For the NHL, the seven Game Sevens ties the most in league history since 2011 and 1994. If the Rangers-Kings Stanley Cup series goes to a deciding seventh game, that would break the league record. Of the seven series that have gone seven games, the Kings have played in three of them. In the NBA, the five Game Sevens is the most in league history.
In looking at playoff series in the NBA and NHL since 2000, the NHL has had more Game Sevens. The NHL has had 63 Game Sevens, while the NBA has had 43. (Note: the NBA went to seven-game playoff series in all rounds starting in 2003; the NHL has had seven games in the playoffs since 1987.)
The Memphis Grizzlies hold the distinction of the team that has suffered the most Game Seven defeats in the last four years. The Grizzlies have lost a Game Seven in three of the last four years.
Since 2000, the Boston Bruins have the most Game Seven defeats with six. Ironically, the Bruins NBA counterparts in Boston, the Celtics, have the most Game Seven defeats in the NBA this century with four. That’s a lot of disappointment for Boston sports fans since 2000.
Following are the NHL and NBA franchises with the most Game Seven losses since 2000.
Game Seven losses since 2000 in the NHL
4: Anaheim, Colorado, Ottawa
3: Buffalo, Calgary, Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Toronto, Vancouver
Game Seven losses since 2000 in the NBA
3: Houston, Memphis, Miami, New Orleans, Sacramento
2: Atlanta, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Portland, San Antonio, Toronto
Major League Baseball has seen 11 series go to a deciding Game Seven since 2000. Two teams, the Boston Red Sox (oh, those poor Boston fans) and the New York Yankees have two Game Seven defeats since 2000.
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