It’s never hard to tell when NHL
Commissioner Gary Bettman is in the house during league events as he’s always
greeted by a chorus of boos. However, it’s a little hard to figure out why
since Bettman has brought parity to the world’s best hockey league and its
unpredictability is one of the reasons fans are so addicted to it. You never
know who’s going to win from night to night and this year’s playoffs have been
a great example of that.
One-goal victories and comeback wins have
been a highlight of the current postseason and it appears no lead is safe
anymore. Fans saw one of the greatest come-from-behind wins in playoff history
during the second round of the Western Conference when the Anaheim Ducks erased
a late 3-0 deficit to win 4-3. The Ducks trailed the Edmonton Oilers with just
3:16 remaining in the third period in game five and managed to score three times
with goalie John Gibson pulled for an extra attacker.
Rickard Rakell tied the game with just 15
seconds to go and Corey Perry won it for the home team at the 6:57 mark of the
second overtime period. It was the second time in this year’s playoffs that
Anaheim has erased a tree-goal deficit to win. They also trailed the Flames 4-1
in Calgary in game three of their first round series and won it 5-4 in
overtime. Anaheim has fought back five times from multi-goal deficits this
postseason and won four of those games.
The Ducks are now tied with four other
teams for four multi-goal comeback wins during a postseason while the
Philadelphia Flyers hold the record with five, set in the 1986/87 campaign.
There have been 14 multi-goal comebacks in the this year’s playoffs which is
just one shy of the record of 15 set in 2013/14. Edmonton was also involved in
the only other NHL playoff game which saw a team wipe out a three-goal deficit
with just four minutes to play in a game.
They found themselves trailing the Dallas
Stars 3-0 at home with four minutes to go in the third game of the Western
Conference quarterfinals on April 20th, 1997. The Oilers banged in
two goals in 12 seconds and three in 1:56 to tie the game with 2:04 on the
clock. They then won it at 9:15 of overtime. There has been 31 comeback wins in
the 2016/17 playoffs in which a team has won after trailing by at least a goal.
The record is 45 which was set in 1989/90.
The Nashville Predators have also excelled
in comebacks this postseason with five come-from-behind wins. As for one-goal victories in this year’s
playoffs, there has been 48 of them up until May 22nd. The all-time
record is 51 in 81 games which was set in 2006/07. There was a single-round
record of 18 overtime games this season in the first round of the playoffs with
the Washington vs Toronto series going past regulation time in five of their
Four games went to an extra period on the
same night on April 17th. It was the third time in history that four
games needed overtime on the same day and the first time it happened since 1984/85.
The first time it occurred was in 1979/80. There’s also a chance the record for
overtime games in a single playoff season will fall this year as there has been
26 of them so far with the record being 28 which was set in 1992/93. The
Conference Finals still aren’t over yet and we then have the Stanley Cup Finals
So whatever it is Bettman is doing to the
NHL, fans should appreciate the closeness of the league these days. Yes there
has still been a few blowouts in this year’s postseason, but the salary cap has
definitely helped with the parity issue. We could also see this year’s 16th-seeded
playoff team the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Final.
Labels: Ian Palmer