Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/17/14 at 03:24 PM ET
NEW YORK (June 17, 2014) – The Los Angeles Kings set a record by winning three Game 7s on the road, tied a record by playing 26 postseason games and won their second Stanley Cup in three years to cap a playoff season that featured multi-goal comebacks, last-minute heroics and countless overtime thrills.
A playoff season that spanned 59 days and 93 games in pursuit of the most-cherished trophy in professional sports – and the most difficult to win – provided a host of highlights. Among them:
* The 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs featured a record-setting 93 games, surpassing the previous single-year mark of 92 established in 1991.
* Twenty-six of the 93 total games required overtime (28.0%), including three in the five-game Stanley Cup Final. Of those 26 contests, six featured more than one overtime period.
* The 26 total overtime games tied for the third-most in one playoff year (with 2001), two off the record of 28 set in 1993.
* Fourteen of the 15 total series in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs featured at least one overtime game. Last year, each of the 15 total series had at least one overtime contest, the first time that has happened since all four rounds went to the best-of-seven format in 1987.
* There were seven Game 7s contested in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, matching the single-year postseason record established in 1994 and equaled in 2011.
* The First Round featured three Game 7s, marking the fourth consecutive year that at least three opening-round series went the distance. All three games were contested on the same night (April 30), the fifth time in Stanley Cup Playoffs history – and first time since April 22, 2003 – that three or more Game 7s were played on the same day.
* Two Game 7s were decided in overtime – in the First Round between the Wild and Avalanche and in the Western Conference Final between the Kings and Blackhawks. Thirty-nine of the 156 Game 7s in NHL history now have featured overtime (25.0%).
* Over the last four playoff years (60 total series), there now have been 23 seven-game series (38.3%) compared to seven sweeps (11.7%). A full breakdown:
Series Lengths Dating to 2011
Four Games: 7 (11.7%)
Five Games:15 (25.0%)
Six Games: 15 (25.0%)
Seven Games: 23 (38.3%)
* There were 15 multi-goal comeback victories in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs (16.1%), including a record 10 in the First Round (in 48 games, 20.8%). There only were eight such wins in the entire 2013 postseason.
* Overall, there were 36 total comeback victories in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs (38.7%), 20 of which saw a team overcome a deficit in the third period.
* Forty-six of the 93 total games featured one-goal margins (49.5%), including at least one in each series. Another nine contests were decided by two goals following an empty-net score.
* The 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged 5.59 goals per game (520 G / 93 GP), up from 5.34 during the regular season (excluding goals awarded for shootout wins). It marked just the fourth time in the past 25 years that the Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged more goals per game than the regular season (also 1994-95, 2009-10 and 2010-11).
Kings Capture Second Stanley Cup in Franchise History
Two years and two days after capturing their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, the Kings again lifted hockey’s ultimate prize with a five-game series victory over the Rangers.
* The Kings played 26 games in the postseason, the most ever by a Stanley Cup champion and tied for the most by any playoff team (1987 Flyers, 2004 Flames).
* The Kings won Game 7s on the road in each of the first three rounds – at San Jose in the First Round (5-1), at Anaheim in the Second Round (6-2) and at Chicago in the Western Conference Final (5-4 OT). They became the second team in NHL history to win three Game 7s in one playoff year (following the Bruins in 2011) and the first to win three such games on the road.
* The Kings became the first team in NHL history to play the maximum 21 games en route to advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.
* In the First Round, the Kings became the fourth team in Stanley Cup Playoffs history to
overcome a 3-0 series deficit when they rallied to beat the Sharks. The other teams to accomplish that feat: the 2010 Flyers (CSF vs. BOS), 1975 Islanders (QF vs. PIT) and 1942 Maple Leafs (F vs. DET).
* The Kings went 7-0 when facing elimination, the most such victories ever by a Stanley Cup champion. Only one team in NHL history has posted more such wins in a single playoff year: the 1975 Islanders (8), who were eliminated in the Semifinals.
* The Kings recorded four multi-goal comeback victories in the postseason. The last time any team posted as many such wins in one playoff year was in 1987, when the Flyers earned five such victories.
* The Kings became the first team in NHL history to win three consecutive playoff games they trailed by two goals. They fell behind the Blackhawks 2-0 in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final (5-4 OT win); trailed the Rangers 2-0 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final (3-2 OT win); and rebounded from 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 deficits in Game 2 of the Final (5-4 2OT win).
* Justin Williams won the Conn Smythe Trophy after setting career highs with 9-16—25 in 26 playoff games, including 2-5—7 in the Stanley Cup Final, the most points of any player. He also improved to 7-0 in seven career Game 7s; with 7-7—14 in those contests, Williams passed Doug Gilmour (13) for the most points in Game 7 history and also tied Glenn Anderson for the most goals in Game 7s.
* Alec Martinez became the first player in NHL history to score an overtime, series-clinching goal in both the Conference Finals (or Semifinals) and Stanley Cup Final. He did so at Chicago in Game 7 of the Western Conference Final (5:47 of OT) and vs. NY Rangers in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final (14:43 of 2OT). Only two other players have recorded two series-clinching overtime goals in one playoff year: Martin Gelinas (for CGY in 2004) and Adam Henrique (for NJ in 2012).
* Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty, who both represented Canada at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, achieved the rare feat of winning an Olympic gold medal and the Stanley Cup in the same season. The only other players to accomplish the acclaimed double: Ken Morrow (NYI/USA, 1980); Brendan Shanahan and Steve Yzerman (DET/Canada, 2002); and Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews (CHI/Canada, 2010).
* The Kings became the 17th team in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup in overtime and the first to so on home ice since 1980 (NYI: Bob Nystrom).
* The Kings finished 10th in the overall standings during the regular season, becoming the fourth club outside the top six to win the Stanley Cup in the past six years:
Year S.C. Champ Runner-Up Series Result
2009 PIT (8) DET (3) 4-3
2010 CHI (3) PHI (18) 4-2
2011 BOS (7) VAN (1) 4-3
2012 LA (13) NJ (9) 4-2
2013 CHI (1) BOS (5) 4-2
2014 LA (10) NYR (12) 4-1
* A new Stanley Cup champion was crowned for the 15th consecutive season. The last team to repeat: the Red Wings in 1996-97 and 1997-98.
* No division champion advanced to the Conference Finals for the first time since the 1993 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
* In the First Round, the opening five games between the Penguins and Blue Jackets saw the team that allowed the first goal rally to win, including multi-goal comebacks in each of the first four contests. It marked the first series in Stanley Cup Playoffs history in which four consecutive games were won by a team trailing by two or more goals:
Game 1: PIT overcame 3-1 deficit (4-3 W)
Game 2: CBJ overcame 3-1 deficit (4-3 W in OT)
Game 3: PIT overcame 3-1 deficit (4-3 W)
Game 4: CBJ overcame 3-0 deficit (4-3 W in OT)
* In Game 6 of the First Round at Dallas, the Ducks became the fifth team since 1977 to rally from a multi-goal deficit in the final 2:10 of regulation in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The others:
April 17, 1977: PHI at TOR (PHI won 6-5 in OT, 1:49 remaining when rally started)
April 18, 1993: QUE vs. MTL (QUE won 3-2 in OT, 1:19 remaining when rally started)
April 15, 2001: DAL at EDM (DAL won 3-2 in OT, 1:03 remaining when rally started)
May 13, 2013: BOS vs. TOR (BOS won 5-4 in OT, 1:22 remaining when rally started)
* There were 10 game-tying goals scored in the final 2:30 of regulation, including six in the last 60 seconds. Eight of those teams went on to win their respective games in overtime:
Jaden Schwartz, STL – 18:15 of Game 1 of R1 vs. CHI (STL won 4-3 in 3OT)
Paul Stastny, COL – 19:46 of Game 1 of R1 vs. MIN (COL won 5-4 in OT)
Vladimir Tarasenko, STL – 19:53 of Game 2 of R1 vs. CHI (STL won 4-3 in OT)
Brandon Dubinsky, CBJ – 19:36 of Game 4 of R1 vs. PIT (CBJ won 4-3 in OT)
PA Parenteau, COL – 18:46 of Game 5 of R1 vs. MIN (COL won 4-3 in OT)
Devante Smith-Pelly, ANA – 19:36 of Game 6 of R1 at DAL (ANA won 5-4 in OT)
Jared Spurgeon, MIN – 17:33 of Game 7 of R1 at COL (MIN won 5-4 in OT)
Johnny Boychuk, BOS – 18:02 of Game 1 of R2 vs. MTL (MTL won 4-3 in OT)
Marian Gaborik, LA – 19:53 of Game 1 of R2 at ANA (LA won 3-2 in OT)
Chris Kreider, NYR – 19:31 of Game 3 of CF vs. MTL (MTL won 3-2 in OT)
* Avalanche forward Paul Stastny (Game 1 vs. MIN) and Kings forward Marian Gaborik (Game 1 at ANA) both scored tying goals in the final minute of regulation and then won their respective games in overtime. That feat only had been accomplished twice before in Stanley Cup Playoffs history: by Flyers forward Rick MacLeish in 1977 (at TOR) and by Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron in 2013 (vs. TOR).
* Four of the first five games in the First Round series between the Blackhawks and Blues required overtime, including a triple-overtime affair in Game 1 – the longest contest of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs (100:26). Only four other series in Stanley Cup Playoffs history have featured four overtime games in their first five contests:
BOS-TOR in 1933 SF: Four of five total games went to OT (TOR won series 3-2)
MTL-TOR in 1951 F: All five games went to OT (TOR won series 4-1)
DAL-EDM in 2001 CQF: Four of first five games went to OT (DAL won series 4-2)
CHI-PHX in 2012 CQF: First five games went to OT (PHX won series 4-2)
Playoffs Garner Strong Viewership, Metrics on NBC Sports
* NBC, NBCSN and CNBC combined to average a 0.87 household rating and 1.445 million viewers, making the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs the fourth-most watched on record (since data became available in 1994) and the second-most watched since 2006 (when NBC Sports began its exclusive postseason coverage).
* Over the past 20 years, the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs only trailed 1996 (1.564 million on FOX/ESPN), 1997 (1.523 million on FOX/ESPN) and 2013 (1.471 million on NBC Sports).
* For the 77 games telecast on NBCSN and CNBC, the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged a 0.66 household rating and 1.098 million viewers, ranking as the most-watched NHL postseason on cable in 17 years (1997: 1.211 million viewers on ESPN/ESPN2).
* The 2014 Stanley Cup Final delivered a 3.01 household rating and averaged 5.001 million viewers, marking just the fifth Stanley Cup Final on record (since 1994) to average at least 5.0 million viewers.
* The 2014 Stanley Cup Final also was the most-watched Final on record that did not include either the Blackhawks or Red Wings.
* For the 93 games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, NBC Sports Live Extra delivered 1.52 million uniques and 201.50 million minutes watched, the best-ever metrics for an NHL postseason and up 180% and 183%, respectively, vs. 2013.
* Live streaming for the Stanley Cup Final on NBC Sports Live Extra delivered 603,000 uniques and 37.14 million minutes, up 38% and 22%, respectively, vs. 2013 and making 2014 the most-consumed Stanley Cup Final ever.
* Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final, which was unauthenticated, delivered record traffic for an NHL game on NBC Sports Live Extra for virtually every metric, including uniques (274,473) and live minutes (11,423,556).
Business Metrics Also Continue to Rise
* Sales of 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs merchandise are up 44% vs. 2013 on shop.NHL.com, the official online store of the NHL, and 103% vs. 2012
* Kings’ 2014 Stanley Cup retail sales are up approximately 60% vs. their 2012 championship run, led by retailers Sport Chalet, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Big 5 and Team LA Store at STAPLES Center
* 2014 Stanley Cup Final (Kings-Rangers) merchandise per-caps are up 47% vs. 2013 (Blackhawks-Bruins)
* Sales of Stanley Cup locker room caps and T-shirts are up 25% and 13%, respectively, vs. 2012
* Sales of Wincraft Kings Championship merchandise are up 22% vs. 2012
* Sales of Kings 2014 Stanley Cup apparel and headwear product segments are up 18% vs. 2012
“Kings’ business continues to surge and this year’s championship exceeded the 2012 Stanley Cup with significant increases driven by a deeper collection of both championship and core products. In fact, we anticipate this championship will potentially be Sport Chalet’s largest licensed hot market in the company’s history.” – Sport Chalet CMO Tom Tennyson
Boston defeated Detroit, 4-1
Montreal defeated Tampa Bay, 4-0
Pittsburgh defeated Columbus, 4-2
NY Rangers defeated Philadelphia, 4-3
Minnesota defeated Colorado, 4-3
Chicago defeated St. Louis, 4-2
Anaheim defeated Dallas, 4-2
Los Angeles defeated San Jose, 4-3
Montreal defeated Boston, 4-3
NY Rangers defeated Pittsburgh, 4-3
Chicago defeated Minnesota, 4-2
Los Angeles defeated Anaheim, 4-3
NY Rangers defeated Montreal, 4-2
Los Angeles defeated Chicago, 4-3
Stanley Cup Final
Los Angeles defeated NY Rangers, 4-1
They Said It
“For over two months, hockey fans have been treated to the most extraordinary postseason in the NHL’s history . . . We saw hockey at its best on a nightly basis. There was excruciating drama. The games were played at breakneck speed with great players making great plays. And, best of all, no lead was safe because there were so many goals; beautiful, beautiful goals.” – Ed Willes (Vancouver Province)
“Tremendous end to best playoff year I’ve ever seen.” – Bob McKenzie (TSN)
“In the 19 years I’ve covered the NHL, this is most impressive Cup run I’ve seen. Three Game 7 wins. The comeback wins. Incredible resolve.” – Pierre LeBrun (ESPN)
“The 2014 Stanley Cup Final was full value for the money and a terrific way to end a memorable season.” – Allan Muir (SI)
“And so it went on this unforgettable night of Stanley Cup brilliance, Stanley Cup exhaustion, a new champion crowned. An old champion. A champion we will see again in the future . . . This was a game to be taped, framed, remembered, talked about and then talked about a little more: A game so frenetic it needs to be run in slow motion to fully comprehend all that went back and forth and back and forth. And then back and forth some more. And without time or space to exhale.” – Steve Simmons (Toronto Sun)
“It was wild. It was unpredictable. The action went back and forth and up and down the ice all night long. Pucks clinked off the goal post and the crossbar . . . one, two, three, four times in overtime.” – Eric Duhatschek (Globe and Mail)
“Both goalies were tremendous, and tremendously lucky. In a series in which bounces were so much of the conversation, each got the benefit of their posts and crossbars in a game that left the sellout crowd drained and giddy.” – Cam Cole (Vancouver Sun)
“There may never be another team that wins like this again.” – Chris Johnston (Sportsnet)
“Even amid all the miracles pulled by each of the teams in town over the years, no local franchise has ever survived a postseason like this.” – Bill Plaschke (Los Angeles Times)
“It figured that a team that needed three Game 7 road wins to reach the Stanley Cup Final would need a double-overtime thriller to win the Stanley Cup.” – Kevin Allen (USA Today)
“It is a testament to the parity in the NHL, especially in the West, that the Kings lost 10 [playoff] games and still won the Cup.” – Nick Cotsonika (Yahoo! Sports)
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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