A Game 7 during the Stanley Cup Playoffs is probably the most exciting event in all of sports. Everything that has led to this point is no longer a factor and it is now just two teams battling for playoff glory – the winner moves on and the loser goes home. The NHL Playoffs have already had plenty of excitement, surrounded by compelling storylines and the first round is not quite finished.
There opening round will have four Game 7's, which is the most since 1995 and it is already equal to the amount we saw all last season in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The most first round Game 7's happened in 1992, when six series needed the full amount to decide the winner.
Two of the games have already taken place and the other two will wrap up Wednesday evening.
The first Game 7 was thanks to the Philadelphia Flyers, who wound up winning an exciting Game 6 in overtime on Sunday to force the deciding game and they fed off the home crowd as they dominated the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 Tuesday night. The reigning Eastern Conference champions are now moving on to the second round but still have to wait to see who they will face.
On the other side of North America, about three hours later the Chicago Blackhawks were trying to come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a best of seven series, something the Flyers were able to do last year against the Bruins, becoming just the fourth team in all pro sports to accomplish the feat.
The Blackhawks managed to drop the first three games of their series against the president trophy winning Vancouver Canucks but they found a way to beat Roberto Loungo and the defense in front of him, rattling off three games in a row and forcing what has been arguably the most exciting game this NHL season. The two teams needed extra time to decide a series winner and with 5:22 left in the bonus stanza, Alex Burrows sent the Blackhawks packing with a wrist shot. The Canucks now set their sites on the Nashville Predators, a team fresh off their first-ever playoff series win.
Now we are drooling at tonight's Game 7's. The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens are first on the menu. The two have the best and oldest rivalry in the sport and will be participating in their eighth Game 7 against one another, the most of any two teams in the four major sports. The Canadiens currently have a 5-2 lead in all-time in Game 7 wins. It will also be only the ninth Game 7 to take place 24 hours after Game 6.
Starting shortly after will be a young Tampa Bay Lightning team who is trying to take down a Sidney Crosby-less Pittsburgh Penguins. Though they have had a little more rest for their Game 7, it isn't comforting to the Penguins, who at one point held a 3-1 series lead. They are also 2-5 in Game 7's at home, which includes last season's Game 7 loss to the Canadiens in the Conference Semifinals.
Someone has to win and it will come tonight. We might just be watching a historic moment in the making, because like the NHL's playoff motto says, history will be made.