History lessons from 3-1 series
James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail newspaper had a great item today, breaking down the history of success for teams that have a 3-1 lead in a playoff series. The item is available by clicking here, and Mirtle uses statistics from a fascinating site called whowins.com, which also breaks down the series between the Kings and Vancouver Canucks in terms of historical odds (link here). Basically, a team in Vancouver’s situation, trailing 3-1 but with home-ice advantage in the series, has won Game 5 in 56.8 percent of series and has come back to win the series 12.5 percent of the time. The Kings, of course, won’t be concerned about odds and statistics. Their focus, as Jarret Stoll indicated, is just on winning one more game.
STOLL: “We’ve been upbeat, positive. That’s what you’ve got to be. You’ve got to regroup, refocus and prepare again for the next game, and that’s what it’s all about. Sometimes you lose a game. Sometimes you may lose two in a row, but as long as you come back the next day and do the right things, have a good attitude and go from there.’’
Darryl Sutter was asked for his opinion as to which team feels more pressure heading into Game 5, and Anze Kopitar said pressure doesn’t enter the equation as far as he is concerned.
SUTTER: “I don’t know if it’s pressure. I don’t think the playoffs is about pressure. It’s about the moment, being in it. I never looked at it as pressure, as a player or as a coach. If somebody is feeling pressure, that’s a real negative way of looking at it.’’
KOPITAR: “It’s exciting. This time of the year, this is when you want to be playing, and the position that we’re in, it’s a good one. Everybody is excited. Yeah, we wanted to close it out (in Game 4), but it didn’t come. Those things are going to come. You’re going to face some adversity in the playoffs, and now we’re going to have to go on the road.’’