Tag Archives: Washington Capitals

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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A sports first! Reigning champs Packers (NFL), Mavs (NBA), Bruins (NHL) lose in 2012 first-round playoffs

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

English: Rick Carlisle with the Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers lost their first playoff game to the New York Giants. Then the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins lose their first-round series to the Washington Capitals four games to three. Finally, the defending NBA champs, the Dallas Mavericks, were swept in a four-game first-round series to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Put it all together and it was the first time in sports history that the defending NFL, NHL and NBA champions were all defeated the following year in the first-round of the playoffs. (If baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals make the 2012 MLB playoffs and are defeated in their first-round series, we’ll have a clean sweep of defending champs in the first round of the playoffs in 2012.)

Following is a look at each of the football, basketball and hockey champions since 1970 that were defeated in their first-round playoff the following season after their title (Year listed is the year they won the Super Bowl or the NBA, NHL championship, followed by their first-round loss in the playoffs the following season.)

National Football League (10)

2011-Green Bay Packers: Lost 37-20 to NY Giants in divisional playoff game

2010-New Orleans Saints: Lost 41-36 to Seattle in Wild Card playoff game

2008-NY Giants: Lost 23-11 to Philadelphia in divisional playoff game

2007-Indianapolis: Lost 28-24 to San Diego in divisional playoff game

2000-St. Louis Rams: Lost 31-28 to New Orleans in Wild Card playoff game

1995-San Francisco: Lost 27-17 to Green Bay in divisional playoff game

1986-Chicago: Lost 27-13 to Washington in divisional playoff game

1985-San Francisco: Lost 17-3 to NY Giants in Wild Card playoff game

1984-LA Raiders: Lost 13-7 to Seattle in Wild Card playoff game

1974-Miami: Lost 28-26 to Oakland in divisional playoff game

National Basketball Association (6)

2011-Dallas: Lost 4-0 to Oklahoma City in Western Conference first-round series

2006-Miami: Lost 4-0 to Chicago in Eastern Conference first-round series

1999-San Antonio: Lost 3-1 to Phoenix in Western Conference first-round series

1983-Philadelphia: Lost 3-2 to NJ Nets in Eastern Conference first-round series

1980-LA Lakers: Lost 2-1 to Houston in Western Conference first-round series

1977-Portland: Lost 4-2 to Seattle in Western Conference semifinals (they had a bye in the first round)

National Hockey League (12)

2011-Boston: Lost 4-3 to Washington in the conference quarterfinals

2010-Chicago: Lost 4-3 to Vancouver in the conference quarterfinals

2007-Anaheim: Lost 4-2 to Dallas in the conference quarterfinals

2004-Tampa Bay: Lost 4-1 to Ottawa in the 2006 conference quarterfinals (no 2005 season due to season cancelled)

2003-NJ Devils: Lost 4-1 to Philadelphia in conference quarterfinals

2002-Detroit: Lost 4-0 to Mighty Ducks in conference quarterfinals

1993-Montreal: Lost 4-3 to Boston in conference quarterfinals

1973-Montreal: Lost 4-2 to NY Rangers in quarterfinals

1972-Boston: Lost 4-1 to NY Rangers in quarterfinals

1971-Montreal: Lost 4-2 to NY Rangers in quarterfinals

1970-Boston: Lost 4-3 to Montreal in quarterfinals

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp