Last night the Boston Bruins blew out the Vancouver Canucks for the second straight game. But while the series might now be even at two games apiece, the series is anything but even.In sports, one of the best indicators of how good (or bad) a team really is, is to look at that team’s goal/run/points differential. That is, the difference between the number of points they have scored and the number of points they have allowed. The bigger the difference, the better a team is.
And in the NHL playoffs, the results so far tell us that the Canucks are lucky they have even gotten this far.
After last night’s 4-0 loss, the Canucks have now been outscored 60-55 in 22 playoff games. That is a goal-differential of -5. Of the teams to compete in this year’s postseason, 11 teams have or had a better goal differential.
The team with the best goal differential? That would be the Bruins at +22. And if history is any indication, that is the Bruins ticket to getting their names engraved on the greatest trophy in sports.
In the last 20 Stanley Cup playoffs, only once has a team won the Stanley Cup without the best goal differential in the playoffs. That was the 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins, who finished second in goal differential (+15).
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The average goal differential in the playoffs, of the Stanley Cup winning team is 22.8. And no team has won the Stanley Cup in the last 20 years with a goal differential of less than +13. Last year, the Chicago Blackhawks led the playoff teams with a +16 goal differential on their way to winning Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Even though Vancouver won the first two games of this series, they may have already lost. The Canucks just don’t know it yet.
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