Vancouver’s Game Three Loss, Historically

Jonathan Willis
June 06 2011 10:41PM

The Vancouver Canucks’ 8-1 loss to Boston was a lopsided affair. I couldn’t remember a worse loss in the Stanley Cup Finals off the top of my head, so I decided to dig to find out how that loss ranked historically.

As it turns out, the Canucks loss to Boston was an historic one. Since the NHL claimed sole possession of the Stanley Cup in 1927, only one team has suffered a more humiliating defeat in Finals play than Vancouver did tonight.

The Worst Losses In NHL Stanley Cup Finals History

Year Winner Goals Loser Goals Difference Series Winner
1991 Pittsburgh 8 Minnesota 0 8 Pittsburgh
2011 Boston 8 Vancouver 1 7 TBD
1996 Colorado 8 Florida 1 7 Colorado
1965 Montreal 6 Chicago 0 6 Montreal
1955 Detroit 7 Montreal 1 6 Detroit
1947 Montreal 6 Toronto 0 6 Toronto
1942 Toronto 9 Detroit 3 6 Toronto
2009 Detroit 5 Pittsburgh 0 5 Pittsburgh
2006 Carolina 5 Edmonton 0 5 Carolina
2001 Colorado 5 New Jersey 0 5 Colorado
1997 Detroit 5 Philadelphia 0 5 Detroit
1990 Edmonton 7 Boston 2 5 Edmonton
1985 Edmonton 8 Philadelphia 3 5 Edmonton
1984 Edmonton 7 Islanders 2 5 Edmonton
1984 Edmonton 7 Islanders 2 5 Edmonton
1984 Islanders 6 Edmonton 1 5 Edmonton
1973 Montreal 8 Chicago 3 5 Montreal
1970 Boston 6 St. Louis 1 5 Boston
1948 Toronto 7 Detroit 2 5 Toronto
1936 Detroit 9 Toronto 4 5 Detroit

Only three times since 1927 has a team lost by more than six goals in a Finals game – tonight, in 1991 when Pittsburgh eliminated the Minnesota North Stars with a 8-0 win, and in 1996 when Colorado beat Florida 8-1 in Game Two of a four-game sweep.

Still, there’s a worse number for the Canucks: 82.4%. 82.4% of the time, a team that wins at least one game by a gap of five or more goals goes on to win the Stanley Cup Finals.

Fortunately for Vancouver fans, the number that matters the most is 2-1, the Canucks’ series lead.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Bruce
June 06 2011, 10:55PM
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Vancouver has now been outscored in the playoffs 55-56, yet lead the Stanley Cup Finals.

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#2 antro
June 07 2011, 08:39AM
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It does seem that when the back-end of Vancouver goes cluster-bomb, everything falls apart. That accounts for part of being outscored like that. Well, at least history has already been made, I guess.

There's another stat in the 80% range: something to the effect of the proportion of cup finals won when the home team wins the home opener. It's now the battle of the statistically low sample sizes across eras!

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#3 Yankee Canuck
June 07 2011, 09:41AM
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Bruce wrote:

Vancouver has now been outscored in the playoffs 55-56, yet lead the Stanley Cup Finals.

Amazing. Has any team ever won the Cup being in the negative on GF/GA?

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#4 kabutar
June 07 2011, 11:24AM
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I think part of this is also due to teams being swept or the 'better' team exercising their dominance, rather than a team completely falling apart. if you know what I mean. I'm not saying the Bruins are or aren't the better team, but that in a lot of these cases some teams just were /way/ better (e.g. in underdog runs, the favourite is obviously a much better team).

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#5 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
June 07 2011, 11:55AM
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The bear eating the Orca.... http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=212526868787504&set=a.183197988387059.42903.100000905788423&type=1&theater

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#6 Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"
June 07 2011, 12:00PM
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The play was bad on Van part but the most important thing I saw was the inability for the twins to handle the rough stuff it was very noticeable that at least one has a rib injury. Stanley is a very hard trophy to win. Wimps need not apply! We will see who wants this most is for sure.

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