Varying Game 6 histories
It matters little from one year to the next, but if previous years’ statistics are of any use, the Los Angeles Kings would (obviously) be well-served to win Game 6 in San Jose Saturday night.
As San Jose Sharks beat writer David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News noted in a blog post on Friday, the Sharks are 4-14 overall in Game 6s, easily their worst record in any game of a playoff series. When playing at home in a Game 6, the Sharks are 1-4.
In Game 7s, the Sharks are 5-2 all-time.
It was a topic raised with San Jose coach Todd McLellan on Friday.
“Has nothing to do with this year. Nothing at all,” McLellan said. “Games 3 we’re good, Game 1s I don’t know. Nothing to do with this year. We can talk about the last minute of the second periods in Game 5s haven’t been good, it has absolutely nothing to do with it. This is this year’s group and this is Game 6 for us here at home.”
“Completely different year,” the coach continued. “It’s an opportunity to refer to the past and use stats, but this is a different group, a different year and a different time. If this was game 6 last year, we’d be almost in the finals by now. Everything about it is different.”
He’s right, and Darryl Sutter would agree. There are new teams, new opponents, new players, and a completely new set of circumstances from one year to the next.
From the other end of the Golden State, Game 6s have brought out a traditionally strong showing in the Kings, for what it’s worth. Los Angeles’ 13-6 record all-time in Game 6s is easily the club’s best record at any point of a playoff series and one of only two games in which the Kings have a winning record. L.A. is 16-12 in Game 5s. In Game 7s, the Kings are 3-4. They last played in a Game 7 on April 29, 2002, losing 4-0 at Colorado in the finale of their Western Conference Quarterfinals series.
Los Angeles has won two consecutive Game 6s – against New Jersey in the Cup-clinching game on June 11, 2012, and against St. Louis in a series-clinching first round victory on May 10. Prior to last year, they had their season ended in a pair of Game 6s during the first round in 2010 and 2011.
When the Kings have held a three-games-to-two lead in a series, they have won six of seven series.