The NHL has three Game 7s (or Games 7, if you prefer) on Wednesday, as the Philadelphia Flyers face the New York Rangers; the Minnesota Wild face the Colorado Avalanche; and the Los Angeles Kings facing the San Jose Sharks.
The Elias Sports Bureau states that home teams are 90-59 all-time in Game 7s. That’s a .604 percent winning percentage. So figure two of the home teams are winning tonight.
Join us for a live chat tonight for all three games, beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
So, who are the potential heroes and zeroes for these Game 7s? Glad you asked.
Potential Hero: Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers. Despite being pulled in Game 6, Lundqvist’s Game 7 numbers are outstanding: 3-1 record, with a 1.00 GAA, a .963 SV% and one shutout in four career Game 7s; 6-2 record, with a 1.48 GAA, a .950 SV% and two shutouts in his last eight elimination games; 5-0 record, with a 0.98 GAA, a .966 SV% and two shutouts in his last five elimination games at MSG.
Potential Zero: Braydon Coburn, Philadelphia Flyers. When he’s been bad, he’s been terrible. Coburn was the Flyers’ worst possession player in their two losses against the Rangers at MSG and has been on the ice for five goals against in those three road games.
Potential Hero: Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers. The captain has a goal and an assist in three games at MSG, on the ice for two goals for and one goal against. His Game 5 was one of the better ones he’s played in that house of horrors. He has three points in two career Game 7s.
Potential Zero: Rick Nash, New York Rangers. Nash has appeared in a Game 5, 6 or 7 five times in his career. He has one assist, in a Game 7 win over Washington, to show for it.
Potential Hero: Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche. MacKinnon has two goals and eight assists for 10 points in the playoffs. How has he done on home ice? Hmmm … let’s see … two goals and eight assists for 10 points. In fact, both he and Gabe Landeskog went scoreless in three games in Minnesota.
Potential Zero: Darcy Kuemper, Minnesota Wild. His lone start in Colorado was his worst of the series, giving up four goals with an .886 save percentage. His career road numbers in the regular season: .902 save percentage and a 2.89 GAA in 14 games, versus a .929 SV% and a 1.94 GAA at home.
Potential Hero: Justin Williams, Los Angeles Kings. He’s played four Game 7s. His teams are 4-0. Why? Because Justin Williams has five goals and four assists in the four Game 7s he’s appeared in. That includes two goals against the Sharks in their Game 7 last postseason.
Potential Zero: Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks. Sigh, yes. He’s played four Game 7s and tallied just one goal, although it was a critical one in the Sharks’ win over Detroit in 2011. He’s got seven points in the series, but nada in Games 5 and 6. Joe Thornton's not much better: 2 points in 4 games.
Potential Hero: Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks. Like Marleau, silent in the last two games. But he has 18 points in his last 17 playoff games and has two points in his three Game 7s. Not exactly Justin Williams-y, but it’s really the best you can find on San Jose.
Potential Zero: Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings. Scoreless in his only Game 7, and just one assist at the Shark Tank in this series.