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Notes, We Have ‘Offs Notes

May 20, 2017

Before continuing with “the everybody, or just about everybody, loses at home in the NHL ‘offs,” (by the way, largely it has applied in the NBA as well, clearly a more stunning fact, given the natures of the sport, never evidenced more clearly than this season with two NBA juggernauts Cleve and G.S. with (10-0) marks while the 13th and 16th ranked NHL teams are as far as the semis, having led said semis (2-1) and are each in (2-2) series, as I type. (By the way, typing an elective in high school, is so important, that in itself not great, but far worse an indicator of technical dominance, that is not good.)

I believe the road team has won the first two games of an Eastern Conference/Division final only four times with the  Cleveland Cavaliers doing so twice in the past three seasons. (The ’03 New Jersey Nets and 2010 Celtics also turned the trick).

Cleveland the defending NBA champion, also accomplished the feat in 2015, en route to a sweep of the Atlanta Hawks, a team with a (1-12) semis game record in its current location.

That season, Golden State in the first of what is now 3 seasons with the top NBA mark, “6’d” Cleveland in the NBA finals. Last season, the Cavs won #’s 5 and 7 at “G.S.” en route to overcoming a (3-1) finals series deficit en route to the city of  Cleveland’s first title since Jim Kanicki and the Browns’ defense was the key, in a (27-0) win vs the great John Unitas and the Baltimore Colts, in the 1964 NFL title tilt.

That NHL home loss additional note is not only has there been but one team, the ’88 Oilers (Edmonton) that went through the ‘offs, sans a home defeat (’87-2017), but just three other teams did so (’71-’86), 16 seasons of either three best of seven rounds or possibly a fourth round of best of 5 prelims, avoidable with a certain record (’71-79) and mandatory, no matter a team’s place in the standings from (’80-’86).

Only the ’74 Flyers, awesome (12-1) in the ‘offs 1976 Canadiens, (the even better ’77 Habs did not) and ’85 Oilers turned the trick.

Three other teams, making 7 in the 49 NHL seasons since expansion have gone sans a home loss, all winning titles, but all three teams were aided immensely by a finals series vs an expansion team, in all three seasons (’68-70) vs the St. Louis Blues.

Hector “Toe” Blake’s last season culminated in the ’68 Montreal crown, Claude Ruel guided the ’69 Canadiens and Harry Sinden coached the ’70 Bruins, all three, title winners, none worse than (12-2) in the ‘offs, but all with a finals series vs the Blues and all three sans a home loss in that season’s ‘offs.

However, just 4 teams in 46 seasons of post expansion hockey without a finals vs an expansion team division winner have gone undefeated at home in the NHL playoffs.


Click below for a good piece on the enormous contributions to great Montreal Canadiens’ teams made by Claude Ruel.

Claude Ruel: The Canadiens forgotten superstar – The Hockey News


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