Last season during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, I put out a morning “noteworthy” column in the style of Trey Kerby’s “Things Of Note” posts on The Basketball Jones. This year I’ll be doing something similar (I think with some upgrades on my own previous attempts) using the NHL’s morning press release (“Stanley Cup of Joe,” they’re calling it), my own opinions, and some videos, .GIFs and appropriate pictures. Quoted passages are from the NHL press release.
It’s not so much the Kings winning that was predictable, as it was the manner in which they won. At home, after scoring first, by a score of 2-1 in a game Jonathan Quick played great. You don’t say.
First time for everything
This series was the first in NHL history that saw the home team score first and win all seven games. Stick-tap to John Buccigross for that tidbit. And stick-tap to the NHL for informing me that only nine times in NHL history has the home team won all seven games in a series.
That first goal
Seems to be fairly important.
Including Tuesday, teams that score first are 110-38 (.743) all-time in Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (4‑0 this year). Home teams are 89-59 (.601) all-time in Game 7s, including a 2-2 record this year. (Elias)
Justin Williams AKA Clutchy O’BigGame
Maybe it’s a coincidence that a pretty good player just happens to excel in Game 7s. Or maybe it’s that he’s someone who performs well under pressure and legitimately deserves the label clutch. You decide!
Los Angeles forward Justin Williams has played in four Game 7s in his NHL career (4-0) and has scored at least one goal in each of them (also for Philadelphia vs. Toronto in 2003, and for Carolina vs. Buffalo and Edmonton in 2006). He is the first player in League history to score goals in each of his first four Game 7s; the only other player to do that at any point in his career was Jeff Friesen from 2000 to 2006. Overall, Williams has 5-4—9, including two game-winning goals, in his four Game 7 appearances. (Elias)
Goal numero uno
You can call it lucky, call it garbage, but in that situation, the best you can do is try to bank it off the goalie, try to dig it up, just dig it somewhere more dangerous. So, credit to Williams for that.
But I do think Niemi is slow getting across on the second one, given that Williams doesn’t get much on the shot. Quick stops it, is all I’m sayin’.
Dude made some ridiiiiiculous saves last night. My two faves below.
How “quick” does he get across the crease on this after going down? Insane speed on post-to-post pushes.
Number two, the one that saw some people on Twitter giving Pavelski crap for not “getting it up,” which is a beautiful, simple concept until the puck is behind your back foot, you know you have a yawning cage, and a half-second to make a play. And to Quick’s credit, he does everything he can, and makes the great save.
Reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick has stopped 362 of the 382 shots he’s faced this postseason and leads the NHL in goals-against average (1.50), save percentage (.948) and shutouts (3). Those numbers are even better at home, where Quick is a perfect 7-0 with a 1.14 goals-against average, .958 save percentage and three shutouts.
11 of the Kings 13 playoff games have been one goal decisions, versus 39 of 70 league-wide.
Home sweet home
This is a trend you shouldn’t be surprised by at this point, but it continued…
The Kings have won a franchise-record seven consecutive home games this postseason (eight including last year) and 14 straight games at STAPLES Center dating to the regular season.
The most recited stat of the day…
The five remaining playoff teams are the last five Cup winners.
* The Kings improved to 4-4 all-time in Game 7s, including a 2-1 record at home. The Sharks fell to 5-3 all-time in Game 7s, including a 3-3 mark as visitors
* The Kings have played in a League-high 33 playoff games over the past two years; they played a total of 28 postseason games from 1994 to 2009
* San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle scored the team’s lone goal, his third of the playoffs
* Los Angeles defenseman Slava Voynov collected two assists; he had just one helper in his first 12 games this postseason
* Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood was outfitted for Game 7 between Chicago and Detroit
* The NHL announced the schedule scenarios, including the dates, starting times and broadcast information, for the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals.
Detroit @ Chicago, Game 7, series tied 3-3, 8:00 p.m. EST, NBCSN, CBC, RDS