blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: 2019

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Today In NHL History - Preakness Trumps Playoffs

On May 19th in 2007, NBC abandoned overtime in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals in favor of two hours of pre-race Preakness Stakes coverage, blacking out the Ottawa Senators 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres, clinching their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since 1927.

The Heidi Game moment resulted in a ratings boost from 1.5 during the final half-hour of hockey to 3.8, 4.8 and 7.5 for the next three increments of pre-race coverage. An hour after Alfredsson's winner, Curlin won by a head at Pimlico running a 1:53.46.

That's today in NHL history.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Today In NHL History - Canucks Fan Flashes Eager

On May 18th in 2011, a proud Vancouver Canucks fan hoisted her Henrik Sedin jersey to flash her breasts for San Jose Sharks penalized enforcer Ben Eager in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final.

Though worthy of honorable mention, Tits McGee's pierced twins were ultimately upstaged by Daniel and Henrik who combined for 5 points in a 7-3 win, giving the Canucks a 2-0 series lead largely owing to Eager's cheapshots and chatter which earned him 20 minutes in penalties.

Eager was ejected from the match 24 seconds after this penalty expired and subsequently scratched from the remainder of the series, never again skating in a NHL playoff game.

That's today in NHL history.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Today In NHL History - Gino Odjick Fights Blues

On May 17th in 1995, Gino Odjick of the Vancouver Canucks attacked all five St. Louis Blues skaters in the third period of Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in response to Glenn Anderson spearing Pavel Bure in the eye earlier in the previous game.

The Canucks lost the game that night 8-2 but won the series 4-3.

That's today in NHL history.

* See also Today In NHL History - Gino Odjick.
* See also Today In NHL History - Gino Odjick Runs Hasek.
* See also Today In NHL History - Odjick's Penalty Shot.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Today In NHL History - Pronger Elbows Holmstrom

On May 15th in 2007, Anaheim Ducks notorious blueliner Chris Pronger delivered a vicious elbow to the head of Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom midway through Game 3 of the Western Conference Final.

Pronger escaped penalty on the play but was subsequently suspended one game for the infraction. Defensive partner Rob Niedermayer collected a five minute boarding major for his role in the Norris sandwich.

Holmstrom returned after receiving 13 stitches, finishing the game with three points in a 5-0 win over the Ducks. Anaheim eventually dispatched Detroit 4-2 and went on to claim their first Stanley Cup.

That's today in NHL history.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Today In NHL History - Montreal Pregame Brawl

On May 14th in 1987, heavyweight Ed Hospodar of the Philadelphia Flyers incited a pregame brawl at the Forum attacking Montreal Canadiens sophomore Claude Lemieux prior to Game 6 of the Wales Conference Final.

Tiring of Lemieux and Shayne Corson's superstitious ritual of firing a puck into the opponent's empty net at the end of the warmup skate, Hospodar and Chico Resch returned to the ice to send a message.

Resch recalls: "I threw my stick to try and knock the puck away from him [Lemieux]. I was still in the mood that this was just fooling around. Hospodar took a different approach and he charged at Lemieux and he jumped him. I skated over and yelled at him, 'Ed, what are you doing?' And Lemieux looked up and said, 'Yeah Ed, what are you doing?'"

Et l'affaire en fran├žais.

The 11 minutes of ref-less mayhem delayed the faceoff by 17 minutes and drew $24,500 in fines. No penalties were assessed though Hospodar was suspended for the remainder of the playoffs. The Flyers advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals that night winning the game 4-3 and series 4-2.

That's today in NHL history.

Today In NHL History - Sylvain Lefebvre's Own Goal

On May 14th in 1994, Toronto Maple Leafs blueliner Sylvain Lefebvre scored an own goal with 3 seconds remaining in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinal against the San Jose Sharks when his clearing attempt struck teammate Peter Zezel and deflected past Felix Potvin.

Luckily for Lefebvre, the Leafs led 4-1 prior to the miscue and held on to win Game 7 by a score of 4-2, advancing to the Western Conference Final where they were eliminated by the Vancouver Canucks 4-1.

That's today in NHL history.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Today In NHL History - Hextall Hammers Chelios

On May 11th in 1989, Philadelphia Flyers ferocious goalie Ron Hextall attacked Montreal Canadiens defenseman Chris Chelios after play was whistled offside trailing 4-2 with 1:37 left in Game 6 of the Wales Conference Finals.

The 1987 Vezina and Conn Smythe winner come single season goaltender penalty minute record holder (113 minutes in 1989) pounced in response to Chelios' unpenalized elbow on Brian Propp ten days earlier.

Hextall received a five-minute major and match penalty coupled with a 12 game suspension commencing the following season. The Canadiens eliminated the Flyers that night winning the game and series 4-2.

Asked 20 years later if the pair had made amends, Hextall explained:

"No, we’re not friends. I've talked to him a few times. You know what, honestly, when the game's over, when your career’s over, you look back at guys like that and you respect them more than anyone else because he is a competitor. He’s one of the top competitors in the league. I look at a guy like that, would I like to have played with him? Damn right I would have. Those guys that are competitive, there's a respect there even if you can’t stand the guy. There's a respect there that never goes away. When I was standing at the bench in Detroit two years ago when we were in town who comes over to talk to me? He does. It’s in the past."
That's today in NHL history.

Today In NHL History - Sami Salo's Balls of Steel

On May 11th in 2010, Vancouver Canucks oft-injured blueliner Sami Salo skated in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals despite catching a slapshot squarely in the family jewels two evenings earlier courtesy of Chicago Blackhawks Norris winner Duncan Keith.
The Finn's miraculous return resulted in the well-deserved raucous chant "Balls of Steel", audible at the 1:00 mark of the video below.
Chicago beat Vancouver that night by a score of 5-1 taking the series 4-2 en route to their first Stanley Cup win in 49 years.

That's today in NHL history.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Today In NHL History - Bobby Orr's Goal

On May 10th in 1970, Bobby Orr scored the overtime marker in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals giving the Boston Bruins a 4-3 win and their first Stanley Cup in 29 years, sweeping Scotty Bowman's St. Louis Blues.

The image of Orr flying through the air with his arms raised after being tripped by defenseman Noel Picard at the moment the goal was scored is arguably the most famous and recognized hockey image of all time.

That's today in NHL history.

Today In NHL History - Walker Punches Ward

On May 10th in 2009, Carolina Hurricanes forward Scott Walker sucker-punched Boston Bruins blueliner Aaron Ward down 4-0 with three minutes remaining in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal.

Walker was penalized 17 minutes and assessed a $2,500 fine but amazingly escaped suspension despite Rules 46.12 and 46.22 mandating such for instigating a fight with 5 minutes to play. Ward didn't miss a game quieting post game chatter of a broken orbital bone.

Boston beat Carolina that night by a score of 4-0 but lost the series 4-3.

That's today in NHL history.

Today In NHL History - Pronger's Heart Attack

On May 10th in 1998, Chris Pronger caught a slapshot in the chest courtesy of Detroit Red Wings defenseman Dmitri Mironov causing the St. Louis Blues blueliner to suffer an acute heart attack, with his team down 4-1 with 16 minutes remaining in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinal.

Further footage may be found at the 3:35 mark of the video below.

Pronger recovered from the freak incident, returning to play four days later. Detroit beat St. Louis that afternoon 6-1, eventually winning the series in six games en route to their second consecutive Stanley Cup.

That's today in NHL history.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Today In NHL History - Steve Yzerman

On May 9th in 1965, Stephen Gregory Yzerman was born in Cranbrook, British Columbia. Drafted 4th overall by the Red Wings in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, the pint-sized sparkplug reignited hockey in the Motor City.

In addition to his five 50+ goal seasons ('88-'91, '93) and six 100+ point seasons ('88-'93), including 155 points in 1989 (65 goals, 90 assists) a milestone surpassed only by Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, Yzerman thrice returned the Stanley Cup (1997, 1998, 2002) to Detroit.

Rounding out his resume Yzerman added a Pearson (1989), Conn Smythe (1998), Selke (2000), Masterton (2003), and Patrick (2006), as well as the distinction of being the longest serving captain in North American major league sports history leading the winged-wheels for 19 seasons over 20 years.

On July 3, 2006, when his body could take him no further, Yzerman retired. He left with 1,755 points, 692 goals, and 1,063 assists, finishing 6th, 9th, and 7th overall, respectively. On January 2, 2007, the Wings raised his number 19 to the rafters adding a 'C' in the upper right corner memorializing his captaincy.

Since then Yzerman has been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (2009) and won a second Olympic gold medal (2010) serving as GM for Team Canada. Today he manages the Tampa Bay Lightning.

That's today in NHL history.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Handshake Lines

The time-honored tradition of NHL playoff combatants shaking hands upon the conclusion of a series is among the greatest displays of sportsmanship in professional team sports today. Seconds after the horn sounds at the end of a series, players and coaches from both teams convene at center ice to celebrate each other's efforts.

The videos below capture the final moments of play in each series-ending game to date in the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs along with the ensuing traditional team handshake line, sorted by round and series end date.


The Blue Jackets eliminated the Lightning in Game 4 on April 16, 2019.

The Islanders eliminated the Penguins in Game 4 on April 16, 2019.

The Avalanche eliminated the Flames in Game 5 on April 19, 2019.

The Blues eliminated the Jets in Game 6 on April 20, 2019. 

The Stars eliminated the Predators in Game 6 on April 22, 2019.

The Bruins eliminated the Leafs in Game 7 on April 23, 2019.

The Sharks eliminated the Golden Knights in Game 7 on April 23, 2019.

The Hurricanes eliminated the Capitals in Game 7 on April 24, 2019.


The Hurricanes eliminated the Islanders in Game 4 on May 3, 2019.

The Bruins eliminated the Blue Jackets in Game 6 on May 6, 2019.

The Blues eliminated the Stars in Game 7 on May 7, 2019.

The Sharks eliminated the Avalanche in Game 7 on May 8, 2019.

In an age of results reigning over respect, it's encouraging to see such sportsmanship in professional sport, albeit with notable exceptions (Milan Lucic 2014), abstention (Martin Brodeur 2008Derek Boogaard 2007, Chris Chelios 2007Darren McCarty 1997, Ed Belfour 1995Billy Smith, Gerry Cheevers) and disdain (Dino Ciccarelli 1996) in recent years.

* See also 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Handshake Lines.
* See also 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Handshake Lines.
* See also 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Handshake Lines.
* See also 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Handshake Lines.
* See also 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Handshake Lines.
* See also 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Handshake Lines.

Today In NHL History - Schoenfeld's Yellow Sunday

On May 8th in 1988, replacement referees dressed in New Jersey Devils Cooperalls and yellow jerseys took the ice at Brendan Byrne Arena for Game 4 of the 1988 Conference Finals against the Boston Bruins when NHL officials exited in protest of a court-order injunction staying John Ziegler's suspension of Jim Schoenfeld.

The one game suspension emanated from a post-game altercation between Devils head coach Schoenfeld and Game 3 referee Don Koharski where incidental contact between with the two caused the referee to slip and remark "you're done" to which the bench boss retorted "you fell you fat pig, have another doughnut".

The incident was famously parodied four years later in Saturday Night Live star and renowned hockey fan Mike Myers' movie Wayne's World in which Frederick Coffin played Officer Koharski, a character who frequented the film's fictional coffee shop named Stan Mikita's Donuts.

The Devils beat the Bruins that night by a score of 3-1 but eventually lost the series in Game 7. Shoenfeld was suspended for Game 5 and received a $1,000 fine while the Devils were docked $10,000. Koho and Schony later became good friends despite the doughnut diet indignity.

That's today in NHL history.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Today In NHL History - Bure Elbows Churla

On May 4th in 1994, Vancouver Canucks superstar Pavel Bure blindsided Dallas Stars forward Shane Churla with an unpenalized elbow to the head sending a message to the Stars Goon-In-Chief for his teammates' shenanigans.
The Canucks won Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinal 3-0 on the back of Bure's two goals, eventually taking the series 4-1. Churla refused to shake Bure's hand at the end of the series and vowed revenge. The NHL fined Bure $500 but did not suspend him for the incident.

That's today in NHL history.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Today In NHL History - Luongo's Playoff Poop

On May 3rd in 2007, Vancouver Canucks backup backstop Dany Sabourin surprised everyone, including GM Dave Nonis, starting the overtime period against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals in place of netminder Roberto Luongo.

Originally thought to be an equipment issue, Luongo later revealed his absence had more to do with plumbing than padding admitting that he was suffering from untimely diarrhea. A subsequent tweet and explanation on CBC's After Hours confirmed that Lu was in the loo Anaheim beat Vancouver 2-1 in double overtime, taking the series 4-1 and eventually winning the Stanley Cup against the Ottawa Senators.

That's today in NHL history.

* See also Today In NHL History - Luongo's Stick Gets Stuck.
* See also Today In NHL History - Luongo Trade (FLA-VAN).
* See also Today In NHL History - Luongo Trade (NYI-FLA).
* See also Roberto Luongo Interview - 2011 NHL Awards.
* See also Roberto Luongo Interview - 2009 NHL Awards.

Today In NHL History - Domi Elbows Niedermayer

On May 3rd in 2001, Toronto Maple Leafs bruiser Tie Domi delivered a vicious elbow to the head of New Jersey Devils blueliner Scott Niedermayer rendering him unconscious. The cheapshot came with 7 seconds to play in Game 4 of the 2001 Eastern Conference Semifinals with Toronto up 3-1.
Despite a tearful apology, Domi was suspended for rest of the playoffs and the first eight games of the next regular season. Toronto won the next game to take a 3-2 series lead, only to be eliminated by New Jersey in 7 games.

That's today in NHL history.

* See also Today In NHL History - Tie Domi Fights Fan.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Today In NHL History - Puck Hits Yzerman's Eye

On May 1st in 2004, Detroit Red Wings superstar Steve Yzerman was struck in the eye by teammate Matthieu Schneider's second period slapshot in Game 5 of the Western Conference Semfinals against the Calgary Flames, falling the captain and silencing fans at Joe Louis Arena.

Yzerman endured a four hour surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone and scratched cornea missing the rest of the playoffs and subsequent World Cup of Hockey, during which Joe Thornton and Joe Sakic refrained from wearing number 19 out of respect for their injured countryman. Yzerman returned in the 2005–06 season wearing a visor.

Calgary beat Detroit that afternoon by a score of 1-0 and stole Game 6 by the same margin to win the series 4-2, before eventually losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning by one goal in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

That's today in NHL history.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Today In NHL History - Kirk McLean's Game 7 Save

On April 30th in 1994, Vancouver Canucks goalie Kirk McLean denied Calgary Flames forward Robert Reichel of an overtime open net opportunity in Game 7 of the 1994 playoffs' opening round, in what is now known in Canucks circles simply as 'The Save'.
The spectacular save set the stage for Pavel Bure's double overtime series winner, considered by many as the Greatest Moment in Canucks History, capping the Canucks improbable 3-1 series deficit comeback with three consecutive overtime wins against the Flames and igniting their Cinderella run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Highlights from this historic Canucks Game 7 can be viewed below.
That's today in NHL history.

* See also Canucks Game 7 Overtime & Stanley Cup Finals.
* See also NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Game 7 History.

Today In NHL History - Steve Smith's Own Goal

On April 30th in 1986, rookie defenseman Steve Smith of the Edmonton Oilers accidentally played the puck off of goalie Grant Fuhr and scored on his own goal, putting the Calgary Flames ahead 3-2 in the third period of Game 7 of the Battle of Alberta Smyth Division Finals.
Smith's 23rd birthday blooper held up as the winner and Calgary took the series 4-3. The Flames would eventually advance to the Stanley Cup Finals only to lose to the Montreal Canadiens in five games.

That's today in NHL history.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Today In NHL History - Roger Neilson Surrenders

On April 29th in 1982, Vancouver Canucks head coach Roger Neilson surrendered to referee Bob Myers during Game 2 of the Campbell Conference Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks in protest of poor officiating.

Stymied by seemingly unjustified penalties, Tiger Williams suggested throwing all of the sticks on the ice. Coach Neilson replied, "No, I've done that before, let's surrender". And with that, a white towel was raised on the end of a stick for all to see and Towel Power was born.

Neilson was tossed and the Canucks lost the game 4-1. They went on to win the series against the Blackhawks by the same margin, advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history.

Some 29 years later the Vancouver Canucks unveiled an 800 pound bronze sculpture by Norm Williams outside of the coincidentally named Rogers Arena, memorializing Neilson's historic stand that inspired a team and a tradition.

That's today in NHL history.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Battle of Alberta & NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

For the past four decades, the province of Alberta has hosted two NHL teams, the Edmonton Oilers (emigrating from the WHL in 1979) and the Calgary Flames (relocating from Atlanta in 1980). Separated by a mere 175 miles, these two franchises have forged one of the most intense rivalries in the game, playing hundreds of regular season games and five playoff series against each other, in what's known throughout the league as the "Battle of Alberta". The Oilers have qualified for the postseason 21 times, skating in the Cup Final seven times (1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990, 2006) and winning the Stanley Cup five times (1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990). The Flames have skated in the playoffs 22 times, cracking the Cup Final three times (1986, 1989, 2004) and hoisting once (1989).

To put the early years of these fierce provincial foes in perspective, both teams made the playoffs each year from their inauguration through 1991, with one of them skating in the Stanley Cup Final for eight consecutive years (1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990) and winning it six times during that span, spilling oceans of blood en route.

There were dark times too. Edmonton missed the postseason 18 times (1993-1996, 2002, 2004, 2007-2016, 2018, 2019), including a NHL record 10 consecutive postseason absences (2007-2016). Calgary failed to qualify for the playoffs 15 times (1992, 1997-2003, 2010-2014, 2016, 2018). 

Both missed the same postseason eight times (2002, 2010-2014, 2016, 2018), including seven of the past nine playoffs. On the other hand, both qualified for the same postseason 13 times (1981-1991, 2006, 2017), though it's only happened twice in the past 26 seasons (2006, 2017).

In terms of head-to-head playoff matchups, the Alberta teams have locked horns five times (1983, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1991). Edmonton has won all but one such series (1986), owing to a spectacular Steve Smith own goal, with the winner reaching the Stanley Cup Final four times (1983, 1984, 1986, 1988) and hoisting twice (1984, 1988) after such affairs.

Regarding other NHL teams facing both Alberta squads in the same postseason, only the Winnipeg Jets (1985, 1987), Los Angeles Kings (1989, 1990) and Anaheim Ducks (2006, 2017) have done it. To date, only the 2017 Anaheim Ducks have won series against both Alberta teams in the same postseason. 

Interestingly, when both Alberta sides have played the same opponent in a postseason, the victor has advanced to the Stanley Cup Final every time (1985, 1987, 1989, 1990, 2006) but once (2017), hoisting the Cup all but twice (2006, 2017).

The last time Edmonton and Calgary both qualified for the postseason was 2017.  Neither made it past the opening round, falling to San Jose and Anaheim, respectively.

For the sake of NHL fans everywhere, let's hope this playoff rivalry is sparked again soon.

Today In NHL History - Dale Hunter Hits Turgeon

On April 28th in 1993, Washington Capitals forward Dale Hunter delivered a late shoulder-separating hit on New York Islanders center Pierre Turgeon after the Lady Byng recipient converted Hunter's defensive-end turnover for the Isles 5th goal in Game 6 of the Patrick Division Semifinal.
Witnessing the foul firsthand at Nassau Coliseum, the newly appointed Commissioner Gary Bettman assessed a 21 game suspension costing Hunter $150,000, one-quarter of his $600,000 annual salary. New York beat Washington that night by a score of 5-3 to win the series 4-2.

That's today in NHL history.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Today In NHL History - Carcillo Fights Talbot

On April 25th in 2009, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Maxime Talbot challenged Philadelphia Flyers tough guy Daniel Carcillo to a scrap down 3-0 in the second period of Game 6 of the Conference Quarterfinals.

Carcillo won the fight but Pittsburgh stole the momentum responding with five unanswered goals to win the game 5-3, clinch the series 4-2 and eventually hoist the Stanley Cup seven weeks later. Though some discredit the fight as a turning point, Talbot's silencing was golden.

On July 1, 2011, the Flyers parted ways with Carcillo and signed Talbot. Carcillo took a one year $750,000 deal with the Chicago Blackhawks. Talbot earned a five year $8.75m deal with the Flyers.

That's today in NHL history.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Today In NHL History - Alan Eagleson

On April 24th in 1933, Robert Alan Eagleson was born in St. Catherines, Ontario. Once considered the most powerful man in hockey, Eagleson's reputation was destroyed and person imprisoned when his fraudulent ways towards his colleagues and clients were revealed.

Starting out as a player agent before pioneering the NHLPA and international tournaments among professionals (1972 Summit Series, 1976 Canada Cup), the NHL icon was enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame and appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1989 only to have both honors stripped nine years later upon cross border convictions.

The unraveling originated with articles penned by player agents Ritch Winter and Ron Salcer, and Eagle-Tribune sports editor Russ Conway. Allegations of embezzlement, colluding to repress player salaries, misrepresenting player negotiations, and skimming disability funds resulted in disbarment as a lawyer, U.S. courts taking his money ($700,000) and Canada's his freedom (18 month sentence of which he served six), as described in Conway's 'Game Misconduct'.

That's today in NHL history.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Game 7 History

When two teams split the first six games of a best-of-seven playoff series, a 'winner take all' Game 7 is staged. Heroes are born and victors crowned in this high-stakes affair. Not surprisingly, Game 7s have produced some of the most memorable moments in NHL postseason history.
Once reserved solely for the Semifinal and Final rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the best-of-seven format was expanded to include the Quarterfinals in 1968 and Preliminary round in 1987. Of the 681 best-of-seven NHL playoff series played through 2018, 169 (25%) have resulted in a Game 7 with the home team holding a healthy 98-71 (58%) edge. The team that scores first has a 126-43 (75%) edge, including a 5-0 record in 2016. 40 of the 169 (24%) Game 7s have gone to overtime, with the home and road teams each winning 20 times (50%).

Of the 169 Game 7s, 28 times a team trailing their series 3-1 won Game 7 and 4 times a team down 3-0 in their series won Game 7.  The most Game 7s in single playoff season is seven (1994, 2011, 2014). Only three times has a postseason gone without (1970, 1973, 1977).

Over the past 31 postseasons since the 1987 expansion of all series to best-of-seven, a Game 7 has been played in 125 of the 465 series. Put another way, 28% or approximately every 1 in 3.6 playoff series have gone to seven games. The chart below describes Game 7s by year, noting the number and round in which a seventh game(s) occurred.

Year: Game 7s (Round)                   Year: Game 7s (Round) 
1987: 5 (1P, 3Q, F) 2002: 5 (2P, 2Q, 1S)
1988: 3 (1P, 1Q, 1S) 2003: 6 (3P, 1Q, 1S, F)
1989: 3 (2P, 1Q) 2004: 5 (3P, 1S, F)
1990: 4 (3P, 1Q) 2006: 3 (1P, 1S, F)
1991: 4 (3P, 1Q) 2007: 1 (1P)
1992: 6 (6P) 2008: 3 (3P)
1993: 4 (1P, 2Q, 1S) 2009: 6 (2P, 3Q, F)
1994: 7 (4P, 1Q, 1S, F) 2010: 4 (2P, 2Q)
1995: 4 (4P) 2011: 7 (4P, 1Q, 1S, F)
1996: 2 (1Q, 1S) 2012: 4 (3P, 1Q)
1997: 3 (3P) 2013: 5 (3P, 2Q)
1998: 1 (1Q) 2014: 7 (3P, 3Q, 1S)
1999: 3 (2P, 1S) 2015: 5 (2P, 1Q, 2S)
2000: 3 (1P, 2S) 2016: 5 (2P, 2Q, 1S)
2001: 4 (3Q, F) 2017: 3 (2Q, 1S)

2018: 3 (1P, 1Q, 1S)

(P = Preliminary, Q = Quarterfinal, S = Semifinal, F = Final)

Breaking it down by round, the most Game 7s over the past 31 seasons on a percentage basis have occurred in Semifinal (18/62 = 28%) and Quarterfinal (35/124 = 28%), followed by the Stanley Cup Final (8/31 = 26%) and Preliminary (67/248 = 27%) round. Interestingly, 6 of the past 17 Finals and 6 of the past 9 Semifinals have been decided by a seventh game. In sum, the likelihood of a Game 7 in a NHL playoff series since 1987 is 1 in 3.5 for the Semifinal and Quarterfinal with a slight decrease to roughly 1 in 3.65 for the Preliminary round and 1 in 3.75 for the Stanley Cup Final.

The charts below show the total number of Game 7s played by each NHL team along with their win/loss records, with all-time statistics on the lefthand side and data since 1987 on the righthand side.

NHL Game 7s All-Time                   NHL Game 7s Since 1987
Team: Series (Record)       Team: Series (Record)
Boston: 26 (14-12) Pittsburgh: 16 (10-6)
Detroit: 25 (14-11) Boston: 15 (9-6)
Montreal: 23 (14-9) New Jersey: 15 (7-8)
Toronto: 23 (12-11) Washington: 15 (4-11)
Pittsburgh: 17 (10-7) Detroit: 14 (7-7)
Philadelphia: 16 (9-7) Toronto: 12 (6-6)
St. Louis: 16 (8-8) New York*: 11 (9-2)
New York*: 15 (9-6) Philadelphia: 11 (6-5)
New Jersey: 15 (7-8) Montreal: 10 (7-3)
Washington: 15 (4-11) San Jose: 10 (6-4)
Chicago: 14 (7-7) Vancouver: 10 (6-4)
Calgary: 12 (5-7) Colorado: 10 (4-6)
Los Angeles: 11 (7-4) St. Louis: 10 (4-6)
Edmonton: 10 (6-4) Los Angeles: 8 (6-2)
San Jose: 10 (6-4) Chicago: 8 (5-3)
Vancouver: 10 (6-4) Anaheim: 9 (3-6)
Colorado: 10 (4-6) Edmonton: 8 (5-3)
Anaheim: 9 (3-6) Tampa Bay: 8 (5-3)
Tampa Bay: 8 (5-3) Calgary: 8 (2-6)
Minnesota^: 7 (3-4) Buffalo: 6 (1-5)
New York**: 7 (3-4) Ottawa: 6 (0-6)
Buffalo: 7 (1-6) Dallas: 5 (2-3)
Ottawa: 6 (0-6) New York**: 5 (2-3)
Dallas: 5 (2-3) Carolina: 4 (4-0)
Carolina: 4 (4-0) Minnesota^^: 3 (3-0)
Minnesota^^: 3 (3-0) Nashville: 3 (1-2)
Quebec: 3 (2-1) Phoenix: 3 (0-3)
Nashville: 3 (1-2) Florida: 2 (1-1)
Hartford: 3 (0-3) Hartford: 2 (0-2)
Florida: 2 (1-1) Minnesota^: 2 (0-2)
Phoenix: 2 (1-1) Winnipeg~: 2 (0-2)
Winnipeg~: 2 (0-2) Winnipeg+: 1 (1-0)
Winnipeg+: 1 (1-0) Quebec: 1 (0-1)
Oakland: 1 (0-1)

*   New York Rangers
** New York Islanders
^   Minnesota North Stars
^^ Minnesota Wild
~  Winnipeg Jets (1979-1996)
+  Winnipeg Jets (2011-Present)

Boston has skated in the most Game 7s (26) in NHL history with Boston, Detroit and Montreal winning the most (14). Over the past 31 seasons, however, Pittsburgh has played more Game 7s (16) than anyone else and winning the most (10). Carolina, Minnesota Wild and the Winnipeg Jets (2011-Present) have never lost a Game 7; Ottawa, Hartford, Phoenix, Winnipeg (1979-1996) and Oakland have never won a Game 7; and Columbus has never skated in one.

In terms of winning more than one Game 7 in a single postseason, 22 teams have done it twice with only two teams winning three best-of-seven series in a Game 7 in a single playoff (Boston 2011, Los Angeles 2014). The chart below lists all NHL teams that have ever won two or more Game 7s in a single postseason, indicating year and rounds in which they turned the trick.

NHL Game 7s Won Same Year
Year: Team (Round)
1950: Detroit (S, F)*
1964: Toronto (S, F)*
1968: St. Louis (Q, S)
1990: Chicago (P, Q)
1993: Toronto (P, Q)
1994: New York^ (S, F)*
2001: Colorado (Q, F)*
2002: Colorado (P, Q), Toronto (P, Q)
2003: New Jersey (S, F)*, Minnesota (P, Q)
2004: Tampa Bay (S, F)*
2006: Carolina (S, F)*
2009: Carolina (P, Q), PIT (Q, F)*
2010: Montreal (P, Q)
2011: Boston (P, S, F)*
2012: New York^ (P, Q)
2014: Los Angeles (P, Q, S)*
2015: Tampa Bay (P, S)
2016: St. Louis (P, Q)
2017: Pittsburgh (Q, S)*

* Stanley Cup Champion
^ New York Rangers

(P = Preliminary, Q = Quarterfinal, S = Semifinal, F = Final)

The 2018 postseason featured three Game 7s, with the team that scores first going 2-1, home teams holding a 1-2 record, and none recovering from a 3-1 series deficit.
Game 7 ... kill or be killed.

* See also NHL Playoff Comebacks Trailing 3-0.
* See also NHL Playoff Comebacks Trailing 3-1.
* See also NHL Stanley Cup Playoff First Round Upsets.
* See also Canucks Game 7 Overtime & Stanley Cup Finals.