Friday, June 13, 2014

Closing Out a Sweep in the Final

The Rangers avoided a Stanley Cup sweep with a home win over the Kings on Wednesday. Back at the dystopian hellscape Staples Center, they look to stay alive for another day in Game Five.

26 teams had fallen behind 3-0 in the Stanley Cup Final, and New York already did something 20 of them could not do, and that's win Game Four. Of the six that avoided the sweep, three won again and three were eliminated.

The Blueshirts look to join the 1942 Maple Leafs, 1945 Red Wings and 2012 Devils as the only teams to force a Game Six after being down 3-0. The '42 Leafs came all the way back on Detroit, who almost returned the favor three years later, but lost in Game Seven. New Jersey won twice to send their series back to L.A., where the Kings clinched their first Cup.

Year Up 3-0 Down 3-0 Game 4 Game 5 Game 6 Game 7
1941 Bruins Red Wings Win
1942 Red Wings Maple Leafs Loss Loss Loss Loss
1943 Red Wings Bruins Win
1944 Canadiens Black Hawks Win
1945 Maple Leafs Red Wings Loss Loss Loss Win
1946 Canadiens Bruins Loss Win
1948 Maple Leafs Red Wings Win
1949 Maple Leafs Red Wings Win
1952 Red Wings Canadiens Win
1947 Canadiens Bruins Loss Win
1960 Canadiens Maple Leafs Win
1968 Canadiens Blues Win
1969 Canadiens Blues Win
1970 Bruins Blues Win
1976 Canadiens Flyers Win
1977 Canadiens Bruins Win
1981 Islanders North Stars Loss Win
1982 Islanders Canucks Win
1983 Islanders Oilers Win
1988 Oilers Bruins Win
1992 Penguins Blackhawks Win
1995 Devils Red Wings Win
1996 Avalanche Panthers Win
1997 Red Wings Flyers Win
1998 Red Wings Capitals Win
2012 Kings Devils Loss Loss Win
2014 Kings Rangers Loss ???

Looking at the NBA, it's surprising that a team has taken a 3-0 lead only 12 times. Would-be sweepers are 8-4 with an 8-1 mark in the last six decades.

Year Up 3-0 Down 3-0 Game 4 Game 5 Game 6 Game 7
1947 Warriors Stags Loss Win
1949 Lakers Capitols Loss Loss Win
1951 Royals Knicks Loss Loss Loss Win
1959 Celtics Lakers Win
1971 Bucks Bullets Win
1975 Warriors Bullets Win
1983 76ers Lakers Win
1989 Pistons Lakers Win
1995 Rockets Magic Win
1996 Bulls SuperSonics Loss Loss Win
2002 Lakers Nets Win
2007 Spurs Cavaliers Win

Ibaseball, there have been 24 3-0 World Series leads and the teams are brutally efficient at sealing the deal. Only three times has a team staved off the sweep and they survived for merely one more game as the 1910 A's, 1937 Yankees and 1970 Reds all won in five. 

Year Up 3-0 Down 3-0 Game 4 Game 5 Game 6 Game 7
1907* Cubs Tigers Win
1910 Athletics Cubs Loss Win
1914 Braves Athletics Win
1922* Giants Yankees Win
1927 Yankees Pirates Win
1928 Yankees Cardinals Win
1932 Yankees Cubs Win
1937 Yankees Giants Loss Win
1938 Yankees Cubs Win
1939 Yankees Reds Win
1950 Yankees Phillies Win
1954 Giants Indians Win
1963 Dodgers Yankees Win
1966 Orioles Dodgers Win
1970 Orioles Reds Loss Win
1976 Reds Yankees Win
1989 Athletics Giants Win
1990 Reds Athletics Win
1998 Yankees Padres Win
1999 Yankees Braves Win
2004 Red Sox Cardinals Win
2005 White Sox Astros Win
2007 Red Sox Rockies Win
2012 Giants Tigers Win

* I've included the World Series from 1907 and 1922, despite the fact that each had an extra-inning game declared a tie due to darkness. 1907's opener saw the Cubs score two in the bottom of the ninth to extend the game, which was called after 12 frames. Game Two in 1922 was called after the tenth, much to the dismay of fans who believed there was plenty of daylight left. If you don't want to include them, then the Game Four record is 19-3.

Between the three sports combined, the potential sweepers' Game Four record is 49-14. Of the first 13 that stayed alive, six won again in Game Five. Three of those six forced a Game Seven with only those 1942 Maple Leafs completing the comeback. Here's one fan hoping for history to repeat itself 72 years later.

No comments:

Post a Comment