The Chicago Blackhawks have played more playoff games than just about anybody else over the past several seasons. Of course, this is to be expected when a team wins three Stanley Cups in just six years: you have to play a lot of hockey to get there.
Tonight, they'll add yet another game to their resume, as when down a 3-1 series hole, they had to force a Game 7 just to have a chance at staying alive. And, in true Blackhawks fashion, they did just that.
It's the fourth straight season they've had to play a Game 7, as a matter of fact. Let's recap:
- Round 3, 2015: The Anaheim Ducks push the Blackhawks to the brink as they win Game 5, putting up a 3-2 series lead. Chicago battles back and ultimately wins Game 7 by a score of 5-3. They win the Stanley Cup in the next series.
- Round 3, 2014: The Los Angeles Kings take a 3-1 series lead, but the Hawks fight back and take Games 5 and 6 to force a Game 7. The Kings win it in overtime, as close of a margin as possible.
- Round 2, 2013: Put in a 3-1 series hole against the Detroit Red Wings, the Hawks force a Game 7 - and with a score of 2-1 in overtime, eliminate Detroit. They make it to the final and with the Cup in six games.
- Round 1, 2011: The Vancouver Canucks put the Blackhawks in a quick 3-0 series hole. Chicago battles back to force a Game 7, but ultimately loses in overtime.
Interestingly enough, the Blackhawks didn't play a single seven-game series en route to their Stanley Cup in 2010. With the exception of sweeping San Jose in the third round, all their series lasted six games.
A common theme throughout these Game 7s? It's always been the Blackhawks fighting back to force a Game 7, never the other way around.
Niklas Hjalmarsson on Game 7s: "These are the kind of games that you want to play."— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) April 25, 2016
"Unless you win in four, five or six."
Chicago currently has a 2-2 record in such situations, and in both seasons they've won a Game 7, they've also won the Stanley Cup.
Possibly of greater concern? Three of the four Game 7s the Blackhawks have played have been decided in overtime. Game 7 overtime is pretty much the most terrifying hockey scenario anyone can think of it, and if recent history is any indication - both with Chicago's record, and just how close their series against the St. Louis Blues has been - well, get ready.