Support TheFeeder, visit our sponsors
  HOSER of the WEEK
  Contact Us
  Meet the Staff
  Join the Team
  Our Sponsors

The anatomy of a Game 7
Series-deciders promise to offer thrills and excitement
4/19/04 - by John Cook

Game 7. Life or death. Who is going to be the hero? Who is going to play the role of Steve Smith? For six teams, they will soon know the answer. Some of the greatest games in NHL history have taken place in the seventh and decisive game. Who can forget when Raymond Bourque finally lifted the cup after 22 seasons in the NHL? Where were you when the New York Rangers ended their 54-year cup-less drought in 1994? Remember when Ron Hextall won the Conn Smythe trophy for the Flyers, but his team lost Game 7 to the Oilers in 1987 for the Stanley Cup (or J.S. Giguere in 2003)?

Some Game 7s are remembered by individual player performances. In 1993, Wayne Gretzky scored a hat-trick to single-handedly propel the Kings into the Stanley Cup finals, where they would eventually bow out to the Canadians in five games. Patrick Roy's final five post-season series went to a Game 7, where he won 3 of them. The first of the five was a Cup-winner in 2001 over the Devils.

He also stifled the Sharks in 2002 with a 27 save performance and a 1-0 win. The final of the five sent Roy into retirement on a very bitter note when Minnesota's Andrew Brunette cut around the Colorado defense and buried a backhander for the series winner in overtime, bringing the Wild back from a 3-1 series deficit.

Upsets, like the Colorado-Minnesota series of 2003, are a rare, yet exciting story of the playoffs. The Sharks shocked the hockey world in 1994 when Jamie Baker scored late in the third period of Game 7 to lead eighth-seeded San Jose over the top-seeded Red Wings, 3-2. The next year, Ray Whitney tallied in the second overtime to knock out the second seed Flames in another Game 7 overtime loss for Calgary (the Flames lost the final three games in the 1994 quarterfinals to Vancouver, all in OT).

Heroes, like Gretzky and Roy, can come in all players. In the 2001 Eastern Conference semifinal, Darius Kasparaitis won the series for the Penguins when a wrister from the high slot beat Dominic Hasek and the Sabres in the series finale. Kasparaitis had scored just three goals the entire regular season, and only had one assist through 13 games in the post-season.

In 1996, the Blues were riding an overachieving goaltender by the name of Jon Casey. St. Louis took the Red Wings all the way to the final game of the conference semifinals, when Steve Yzerman scored on a blistering slapshot from the blueline in the second overtime.

Montreal-Boston. Calgary-Vancouver. Ottawa-Toronto. Game 7. For the players, coaches, fans, and cities, it doesn't get more exciting, and gut-wrenching, than this.

What did you think of article? Post your comments on the Feeder Forums

Privacy Statement   |   Contact Us   |   Advertise
Copyright 2004 All rights reserved.
This website is an unofficial and independently operated source of news
and information not affiliated with any team, or league.