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NHL Quarterfinal Series Notes

May 5, 2012

Before this season, the Los Angeles Kings had won but two quarterfinal series and one of those series wins was in an all expansion team division in 1969. They were (0-8) vs the St. Louis Blues in as many playoff games. Right now, the Kings lead their quarterfinal series against the Blues 3 games to none meaning LA is virtually certain to play in just its 3rd NHL semi-final in their 44 year history.

In the history of major league baseball, the NBA, and NHL, only 4 times has a team come back to win a series after falling down 3 games to none. Three of those times were in the NHL. One team to do so was the Philadelphia Flyers vs the  Boston Bruins just 2 years ago. That year, the Flyers won their next series before before bowing to the Chicago Blackhawks in the finals. At that point, Chicago ended a 49 year Title drought. Last year, the Boston Bruins, the team that dissipated the (3-0) series lead to the Flyers the year before won its first Stanley Cup in 39 years. Currently the Flyers down 2 games to 1 to the New Jersey Devils in their quarterfinal series have a long way to go if they are to end a 37 year title drought.

One of the most famous championship droughts in history was 54 years endured by the New York Rangers. That lasted from 1940’s Cup victory until their next such triumph in 1994. Right now in a bid to make their current drought only one third as long as their famous one, the Rangers lead the Washington Capitals 2 games to 1 in their quarterfinal series. When the Rangers won the Cup in 1994 they beat Washington in the quarterfinals and the Devils in the semi-finals. If both the Rangers and Devils, as cited each up (2-1) in its series, both win, they will meet in the semi finals 18 years later. Then, Martin Brodeur was a young, inexperienced goaltender. He turns 40 on April 6th the date of the Devils’ game 4 vs the Flyers.

The Phoenix Coyotes are the other NHL quarterfinal series leader at this point. They lead the Nashville Predators 2 games to one. Before this season the Coyotes were (0-8) in quarterfinal series games having been swept by Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and the mighty Edmonton Oilers in both such appearances. They were still  the Winnipeg Jets. In this 2011-2012 season when the NHL returned to Winnipeg, the Coyotes nee Winnipeg Jets have made some history. They might make more.

Martin Brodeur

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