NHL Playoffs 2011: Will the Game 7 Curse Be Broken?

Melissa Bauer-Herzog@mbauerherzogCorrespondent IApril 26, 2011

BUFFALO, NY - APRIL 24: Tyler Myer #57, Ryan Miller #30 and Mike Weber #6  of the Buffalo Sabres defend against James van Riemsdyk #21 of the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HSBC Arena at HSBC Arena on April 24, 2011 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Playing seven games in the first round is considered to be a curse that dates all the way back to 1992, when the Pittsburgh Penguins had to beat the Washington Capitals in seven games in the first round before beating the Chicago Blackhawks for the Cup.

But with perhaps three of the biggest matchups this playoff season all going to seven games, it may be time for that curse to be broken.

There is no doubt that Vancouver has had trouble the last three games, blowing a three game lead to the Blackhawks this series.

They are now sweating it out before tonight’s game seven a game that may see history repeat itself as the Blackhawks prepare to send the Canucks home for the third year in a row.

The Canucks also have the curse of the President’s Trophy on their shoulders as only the Red Wings have won the Cup since 2003 after winning the President’s Trophy.

While the Canucks played their best game of the series on Sunday according to coach Alain Vigneault (via NHL.com), they need to step it up one more time if they expect to make it out of the series alive.

Another big Game 7 we will see tonight is the Philadelphia Flyers taking on the Buffalo Sabres in a series that has been back and forth since its first game.

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While the Flyers have put two back to back wins together in this series (Games 2 and 3), they have also had a duck-duck-goose type of goalie situation.

This may be the hardest series to call as there is definitely no clear indication of the momentum going one way or the other and it has taken overtimes in both Games 5 and 6 to declare a winner.

This may be the game to watch for this round.

The Tampa Bay Lightning refuses to let the Pittsburgh Penguins leave the first round without a fight as they have put two impressive back-to-back games together, forcing the Penguins to work for Round 2.

This series saw a 2OT in game four that declared Pittsburgh the winner, but that game may have taken all the energy Pittsburgh had as the last two games have been won by a combined 14 points compared to the Penguins’ four points.

This leaves the door wide open for the Lightning unless the Penguins can get back in gear at home on Wednesday to close out this intense series.

While the Red Wings, Nashville Predators, Washington Capitals and the San Jose Sharks are not a shabby list of teams that have closed out their series’ in six games or less, the teams going to game seven also have some impressive credentials, including both teams in the Stanley Cup Final last year.

It is not to be forgotten that the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins may also go to seven games in their series if the Canadiens pull off a win tonight.

If there was any year for the seven game curse to be broken, a feat the last 32 teams could not do, this is the year.

And with the pace of the playoffs this year, it is definitely a feat that would fit right in.