Upset Meter for Every 2nd-Round Stanley Cup Playoff Series
The second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs has been exciting up to this point, and each series has the potential for an upset. The New York Rangers are the most unlikely to pull one off, as they are in a 0-3 hole trailing the Boston Bruins.
The Chicago Blackhawks could go down 3-1 if they lose Game 4 on Thursday night, and that would put them in a ton of trouble. The other series going on in the NHL playoffs also feature great matchups, and here is where the upset meter is for every second-round Stanley Cup playoff series.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators
The Ottawa Senators have a chance to tie up their series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 at Scotiabank Place on Wednesday night. The Senators won Game 3 in double overtime on Sunday when Colin Greening put a shot past Tomas Vokoun at the 7:39 mark of the period.
If the Senators win Game 4, they will head back to Pittsburgh with a chance to take a lead in the series. The Sens received a big boost when their first-line center, Jason Spezza, returned to the lineup for Game 3.
The odds are currently in the Senators' favor for tying the series because they are 3-0 at home during the 2013 playoffs. The Penguins are currently 2-2 in away games. If the Senators can get a win in Game 4 and steal one on the road, they will have a chance to pull off the upset.
They are currently 2-3 on the road, but they could be riding the momentum of a two-game winning streak heading into a pivotal Game 5. That would put Ottawa in the position of having to win one of its last two games with one of the games at home.
If the Penguins lose Game 4, it will have come on the heels of back-to-back losses by Vokoun. The best chance the Senators have at stealing this series is if Marc-Andre Fleury returns to the goal crease. That will likely happen if the series is tied heading into Game 5.
Fleury has not played well during the playoffs, and the Senators offense should be able to test him like the New York Islanders did in the first round.
Fleury's numbers don't give the Penguins the best chance to win, and the team should stick with Vokoun even if the Senators win Game 4.
If Vokoun gets put back on the bench and Fleury reclaims the crease, the Senators will have a great chance to win this series.
Upset Meter: 40 percent
Boston Bruins vs. New York Rangers
There really isn't much to say here. The New York Rangers trail the Boston Bruins 3-0, and the prospect of an upset is dim. The Bruins have been in this situation before, and that is the only thing a Rangers fan can hold on to for solace at this point.
In 2010, the Bruins famously squandered a 3-0 series lead to the Philadelphia Flyers, and they lost a gut-wrenching Game 7.
The other time the Bruins had a 3-0 series lead was against the Rangers 74 years ago, according to Jeremy Lundblad of ESPN.
Bruins up 3-0 on Rangers for 1st time since 1939... took Boston 7 games to win that series.— Jeremy Lundblad (@JLundbladESPN) May 22, 2013
They would win the series, but everyone still remembers the team's collapse against the Flyers. Right now, things are dim and bleak for the Rangers, but it isn't officially over yet.
Of all of the teams in NHL history to go down 0-3 in a series, only three have come back. The lucky teams to pull off this feat include the Flyers against the Bruins in 2010, the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs against the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Final and the 1975 New York Islanders against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round.
The Rangers are certainly battling the odds, and things don't look good for them.
Upset Meter: Less than one percent
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings
The mighty Chicago Blackhawks have lost two games in a row—albeit Game 3's loss was colored with controversy—but they are on the verge of entering their first three-game losing streak of the season.
The Red Wings stole an important Game 2 on the road, and they kept momentum on their side during their Game 3 victory. The Blackhawks offense has been MIA for most of this series, and that has to be concerning for Joel Quenneville.
The two Patricks—Kane and Sharp—have combined for seven points, but Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews only have two points in three games. Top-line winger Brandon Saad has also been kept off the board against the Red Wings, and he has struggled throughout the playoffs.
Secondary scorers were huge for the Blackhawks during their series against the Minnesota Wild, but it has been stagnant against the Red Wings.
Viktor Stalberg, Bryan Bickell, Michael Frolik and Dave Bolland are pointless against the Red Wings, and that is something that will need to change if the Blackhawks want to win this series.
Aside from a third-period outburst in Game 1 in which the Blackhawks scored three goals, the offense has been stagnant. In Games 2 and 3, the Blackhawks scored a lone goal, while the Red Wings scored seven goals during that span.
The Red Wings' ability to generate offense while limiting the Blackhawks offense is the main reason why they are leading this series.
Other factors contributing to the Red Wings' success include limiting the Blackhawks' top players, playing shutdown defense and the tremendous play of Jimmy Howard.
Right now, the Red Wings appear to be in control, and they have a great chance at pulling off an upset.
Upset Meter: 55 percent
Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks
Both teams have held serve up to this point by winning at home. It is now a best-of-three series, and two of the final three games will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The Sharks are the underdog seed but should be the favorite to win this series.
Sans a third-period meltdown in Game 2, the Sharks have been the better team throughout the series. If not for back-to-back penalties in the third period of Game 2—one being a controversial delay-of-game penalty—the Sharks would have came back to San Jose tied 1-1.
However, they lost Game 2, rebounded in both Games 3 and 4 and haven't stopped to look back since.
The Sharks have played well at home, and they have already come close to stealing a game on the road. For that reason, it is very possible that they can pull off the upset over the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Upset Meter: 60 percent