Tag Archives: New York Rangers

NHL Conference Finals: Six Stats You Might Not Know

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Pepsi Center's interior during Game 4 of the 2...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The NHL Conference Finals begin Sunday as the Los Angeles Kings travel to Phoenix to take on the Coyotes. The other Conference Final will begin on Monday after the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals play Game Seven on Saturday in their series to see who advances to face the New Jersey Devils.

Following are six stats you might not know about the NHL Conference Finals since 1980 (the last 31 years).

1. In the first two games of the Conference Finals since 1980, 30 of them had one of the teams take a 2-0 lead. In the other 32 series, the teams split the first two games.

2. In the 30 series where a team took a 2-0 lead, that team won the Conference Finals 28 times. The last team to fall behind two games to none in the Conference Finals and win that series was in 1991 when the Pittsburgh Penguins lost the first two games against the Boston Bruins and then won four straight to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

3. In the 32 series that started out with the teams splitting the first two games, there was no advantage by winning either Game One or Game Two of the series.  The eventual series winner won Game One 16 times; the eventual series winner won Game Two 16 times.

4. When the series started out 1-1, the team that won Game Three went on to win the series in 27 of the 32 series. From 1980-1999, the team that won Game Three after the series was tied at 1-1 won 21 of the 22 series. In the 10 Conference Finals that were tied at 1-1 since 2000, the team that won Game Three has won the series six times and lost the series four times.

5. Of the 62 Conference Finals played since 1980, 10 lasted only four games. The series went five games in 20 series; six games in 19 series; and the series went the full seven games in 13 series.

6. There have been 59 overtime games played in the Conference Finals since 1980. The home team has won 29 and lost 30. The home team has won five of the last five overtime games in the Conference Finals.

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NHL Playoffs: The Conference Semifinals ‘seed’ advantage

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Stanley Cup, on display at the Hockey Hall of ...

The Stanley Cup (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The next round of the NHL playoffs begin tonight as the first of the four Conference Semifinals will have Phoenix and Nashville facing off in Phoenix. The matchups for the Conference Semis:

No. 2 St. Louis vs. No. 8 Los Angeles

No. 3 Phoenix vs. No. 4 Nashville

No. 1 NY Rangers vs. No. 7 Washington

No. 5 Philadelphia vs. No. 6 New Jersey

Since we have each of the eight seeds (No. 1, No. 2 through No.8) represented in the second round, how well has each seed done in previous Conference Semifinals? Following are the series records of each seed in the second round from 1994-2011. (The playoffs in 1994 was the first year the league ranked eight teams from each of the two conferences No. 1 through No. 8, the current playoff format.) Notice how the No. 2 seed has the best series record since 1994; also notice how well the No. 6 seed has performed in the second round.

Series Record (series won/lost) of Seeds in Conference Semifinals

No. 1 Seed… 17-8 .680

No. 2 Seed… 14-5 .737

No. 3 Seed… 9-13 .409

No. 4 Seed… 11-11 .500

No. 5 Seed… 4-8 .333

No. 6 Seed… 7-5 .583

No. 7 Seed… 4-11 .267

No. 8 Seed… 2-7 .222

Let’s take it a step further. Here are the actual seed matchups from the second round from 1994-2011

Conference Semifinals Matchups (by seed) 1994-2011

No. 1 vs. No. 4: Series tied at 2-2; No. 1 vs. No. 5: No. 1 has won five series and lost two; No. 1 vs. No. 6: No. 1 has won two series and lost three; No. 1 vs. No. 7: No. 1 has won eight series and lost one.

No. 2 vs. No. 3: No. 2 has won nine series and lost two; No. 2 vs. No. 4: No. 2 has won one series and lost two series; No. 2 vs. No. 5: series tied at 1-1; No. 2 vs. No. 8: No. 2 has won all three series.

No. 3 vs. No. 4: No. 3 has won five series and lost three; No. 3 vs. No. 5: No. 3 lost the only series; No. 3 vs. No. 8: No. 3 has won both series.

No. 4 vs. No. 6: Series tied at 1-1; No. 4 vs. No. 7: series tied at 1-1; No. 4 vs. No. 8: No. 4 has won two series and lost one.

No. 5 vs. No. 6: No. 5 has lost only series; No. 5 vs. No. 8: No. 5 has lost only series.

No. 6 vs. No. 7: Series tied at 2-2.

Did you know? The higher seed has won the 64.7 percent of the NHL Conference Semifinals series from 1994-2011.

As mentioned above, each of the eight seeds (No. 1 through No. 8) have a team playing in the second round. This is the fourth time this has happened in the second round of the playoffs since 1994 (1995, 1999, 2006 and 2010). The No. 2 seed in 2010 and 2006 won the Stanley Cup that year… could this bode well for the St. Louis Blues?

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp