To pretty much the surprise of everyone, the Boston Bruins ran over the Vancouver Canucks in game three. The 8-1 score was something we don’t see very often and it’s left a lot of people wondering what the rest of the series will be like.
While we haven’t seen any other seven-goal victories in these playoffs, we have seen another team score eight times.
In the first round, the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins by an 8-2 score in game five. Before that game the Penguins were leading the series 3-1. They had just come off of a hard-fought 3-2 double overtime victory in game four and they looked to be in firm control of their opponents.
They never won another hockey game.
After the Lightning humiliated the Penguins with an 8-2 drubbing in Pittburgh, they were victorious by a score of 4-2 in the next game. They then eliminated the Penguins in game seven.
So how have other teams responded to blowouts?
For the purposes of this piece, we’re going to consider any game where the margin of victory is four goals or more to be a blowout.
Detroit had a four goal victory over Phoenix in round one, but it came in the final game of the series, so Phoenix wasn’t given a chance to respond.
The Canucks themselves were blown out in game four of their first round series with the Chicago Blackhawks. At the time the Canucks were up 3-0 in the series and they were hoping to complete the sweep. Instead, they lost the game by a 7-2 score. How did they respond in game five? With a 5-0 loss. They then lost the next game in overtime before finally ending the series in seven games.
The Bruins did a fair bit of dominating in their second round series against the Philadelphia Flyers. They won the first game of the series by a 7-3 score. The Flyers put up a lot more fight in the following game, but the Bruins were still victorious, winning 3-2 in overtime. They won the final two games of the series with identical 5-1 scores.
The only team to come back and win the next game after being blown out was the San Jose Sharks and, coincidentally, they did so against the Vancouver Canucks. After Vancouver won game two by a 7-3 score, the Sharks pulled off a 4-3 victory in game three.
Not including Monday night, we’ve seen eight games where the margin of victory was four or more goals. Two of those games were elimination games, meaning we’ve seen six games following a blow out. In those six games, the team that was blown out the game before lost five times. Two of those losses came in overtime.
That doesn’t look great for the Canucks.
However, the only team that won a series despite being blown out in a game (actually two games) was the Canucks in round one. They’ll lean on that experience tonight.