NHL Stanley Cup Finals: 25 Shocking Statistics About the Finals You Didn't Know

John RichardsonCorrespondent IMay 31, 2012

NHL Stanley Cup Finals: 25 Shocking Statistics About the Finals You Didn't Know

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    Game 1 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final between the Los Angeles Kings and the New Jersey Devils is set to start tonight at 8:00pm ET.

    Not even the most avid hockey fan could have predicted that a sixth seed and an eighth seed would be competing for the cup.

    So many times before, we have seen that good regular season form does not guarantee success in the playoffs.

    Giants fall and Cinderella stories emerge, but that's why we love it.

    The Kings surprised everyone by dismantling the Canucks in five, sweeping the Blues, and defeating the No. 3 seeded Coyotes on their way to a 16-2 playoff record.

    No such thing has happened in hockey since the 1988 Edmonton Oilers maintained the same record on their way to becoming champions.

    The Devils road to the final proved to be a bit more difficult, scraping out a Game 7 win against the Panthers, winning in five against the Flyers and shocking the No. 1 seeded Rangers in six.

    Despite this bizarre final matchup, both teams have proven that they are deserved contenders.

    Here are 25 statistics I bet you didn't know about the Stanley Cup Finals, to get you hyped for tonight's showdown.

Home Ice Advantage

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    56% of teams to clinch the Stanley Cup have done so on home ice.

    There's no place like home right?

    Keeping the fans involved will prove crucial to determining the winner of this years cup.

Four Games

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    27% of Finals have ended in Game 4, with one team hitting the ground running and sweeping the other.

    I don't see that happening in this years Stanley Cup, but who knows?

    Maybe the Kings can prove to us that they are, in fact, the best team in playoff history.

Five Games

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    25% of Finals have been decided in Game 5.

    Slightly less embarrassing than losing in four, but regardless, pretty disappointing.

Six Games

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    Again, 27% of Finals have finished in six games.

    The outcome of the Kings and Devils series is anyone's guess.

    For the neutral fan, let's hope it goes to Game 7 for entertainment purposes.

Seven Games

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    Speaking of Game 7, only 21% of Stanley Cup Final's have ever been taken to this nerve shattering stage.

    The last teams to do so were Boston and Vancouver in 2011.

    A not so close encounter saw the Bruins comfortably win 4-0.

Eighth Seed Never Wins

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    No eighth-seeded team has ever won a Stanley Cup.

    The closest were the Oilers in 2006, who lost in Game 7 to Carolina.

    This statistic doesn't bode well for the Kings, but anything is possible.

Least Goals in Seven Game Series Final

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    The honor goes to the Vancouver Canucks, who were out scored 23-8 by the Bruins last year.

    The Presidents' Trophy winner of 2011 didn't show up when it mattered most, and they failed to win their first Stanley Cup since 1915, when they were known as the Millionaires.

Presidents' Trophy Losers

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    Vancouver are only the third team in history to win the Presidents' Trophy and lose in the Stanley Cup Final.

    The unfortunate teams to have done so before were the Bruins in 1990 and the Red Wings in 1995.

    Shows that you can't be perfect (sometimes).

Most Goals in a Final

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    The 1973 Stanley Cup Final between the Montreal Canadiens and the Chicago Blackhawks proved to be a thrilling one.

    In total, 56 goals were scored in six games.

    The highest scoring match of the series came in Game 5, when the Blackhawks beat the Habs 8-7.

Most Goals in a Playoff Game

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    In 1982 the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings put on a goalscoring clinic in a game that finished with the Oilers winning 10-8.

    18 goals! In one game!

    Wish I could have been there.

Most Goals in a Seven Game Final Series

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    This record is held by the 1955 Red Wings and Canadiens who put a total of 47 goals in the net throughout the series.

    Detroit scored 27, and Montreal scored 20.

    Seems as though these teams could have used some better defensive coaching.

Coach with Most Stanley Cups

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    Hector Blake, the ex Montreal Canadiens head coach, has won a record eight championships in his time with the franchise.

    The closest to matching this feat were Scotty Bowman and Clarence Day who each won five in their coaching careers.

Player with Most Stanley Cups

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    Henri Richard, who played for the Canadiens from 1956-1973, won an astounding 11 Stanley Cups.

    11 out of his 17 years with the franchise.

    It's hard to believe something like that could happen in modern hockey, but still an amazing achievement.

Franchise with Most Stanley Cups

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    You guessed it. The Montreal Canadiens have won it 23 times in their illustrious history, more than any other franchise.

    No other team even comes close, with the Toronto Maple Leaves in second winning a respectable 13.

    I think it is safe to say that the Canadiens will be the most successful organization for decades to come (shame about this season though).

Overtime Goals

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    The man with the most overtime goals in Stanley Cup history is none other than Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche.

    the future hall of famer scored seven of them in his career, this one against the Stars in 2006.

Most Points by a Single Player

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    All time great Wayne Gretzky got 13 for the Oilers against the Bruins in 1988 on his way to winning the Cup and the Conn Smythe Trophy for his troubles.

    Truly the best player to ever grace the ice.

Most Goals by a Single Player

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    The Canadian, Babe Dye Scored nine goals for the Toronto St. Pats in the Final against the Vancouver Millionaires in 1922.

    Not a bombshell to reveal that Toronto won the cup that year.

Fastest Goal

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    The fastest goal scored in a playoff game came in the 6th second of a match between the Kings and the Bruins in 1977.

    Don Kozak got the credit on that day, but Boston went on to win the series 4-2.

Most Shorthanded Goals

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    The record stands at 14, set by Mark Messier in his time with both the Oilers and the Rangers.

    He is a six time Stanley Cup champion, some of that likely having to do with his heroics.

    He also holds the record for most playoff appearances at 236 (discounting goaltenders).

Most Shutouts in a Season

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    Martin Brodeur, who we will see showcase his abilities in net tonight, holds the record for the most shutouts in a single playoff season.

    The number is seven, a remarkable amount considering there were a maximum of 28 games (if every series went to Game 7).

Most Appearances by a Goaltender

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    Patrick Roy (now retired) played 247 playoff games in his time with the Canadiens and the Avalanche.

    He won 151 of those games.

Current Post-Season Streak

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    The last time the Detroit Red Wings missed out on the playoffs was in 1990.

    Since then, they have gone on to appear in every Stanley Cup, winning titles in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008.

All Time Playoff Streak

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    The Boston Bruins went 29 consecutive seasons without missing out on the playoffs.

    From 1968-1996, the Bruins only won the Stanley Cup twice, but they experienced the most successful period in franchise history.

Most Power Play Goals

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    Brett Hull, formerly of the St. Louis Blues, Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars, scored 38 playoff power play goals.

    The Canadien right wing is also tied with Wayne Gretzsky for the most playoff game winning goals, set at 24.

Most Playoff Seasons

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    Finally, The most playoff seasons by a single player goes to Chris Chelios, whose time with the Canadiens, Blackhawks and Red Wings saw him compete for the cup 23 times.

    The American played from 1983 until his retirement in 2010, a testament to his strong character.

    He won the Stanley Cup once with Montreal in 1986, and twice with the Red Wings in 2002 and 2008.