Top-Seeded Bruins Move on to Montreal, Reflect Playoff Trend Toward Favorites

Top-Seeded Bruins Move on to Montreal, Reflect Playoff Trend Toward Favorites

The Boston Bruins defeated the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday move on to a second round match-up against the Montreal Canadiens. The first-seeded Boston’s series victory reflects a larger pattern of favorites winning playoff games this postseason. 

While the NHL is famous for playoff upsets, the favorites on the Breitbart Sports Playoff Table have won 80% of their games (a 16-4 record). The updated table below shows all of those games, and is followed by summaries of the four upsets – Detroit at Boston in Game 1, Columbus at Pittsburgh in Game 2, Los Angeles at San Jose in Game 5 and Chicago at St. Louis (story here, pictured above) in Game 5 – and where each series stands now. 

Home Team Home% Favored Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Game 4 Game 5 Game 6 Game 7
Anaheim 77% Home Favored Favored N/A N/A Favored N/A Tues?
Boston 75% Home Upset Favored N/A N/A Favored N/A no game
Colorado 71% Home Favored Favored N/A N/A Favored N/A Wed?
Detroit 38% Visitor N/A N/A Favored Favored N/A no game N/A
Pittsburgh 67% Home Favored Upset N/A N/A Favored N/A Wed?
San Jose 65% Home Favored Favored N/A N/A Upset N/A Tues?
St. Louis 71% Home Favored Favored N/A N/A Upset N/A Tues?
Favored Won 16 80% 5 5 1 1 4 0 0
Underdog Won 4 20% 1 1 0 0 2 0 0

Anaheim and Colorado have won all of the games in which they have been favored, and will now have chance to win their series on the road or at home in Game 7 (Tuesday and Wednesday respectively if necessary). Teams are favored if they have at least a 60% chance of winning based on the original Bill James equation (Home Chance = (HomeWin% – (HomeWin% * RoadWin%)/(HomeWin% + RoadWin% – ( 2 * HomeWin% * RoadWin%).

The table indicates every game in which one team was given a 60 percent chance of winning, with the only four upsets so far summarized below the table.

Chicago wins at St. Louis in Game 5 – leads 3-2

Most believed the Chicago Blackhawks would get a win or two over the ice cold St. Louis Blues in the opening two games, but the Blues came back twice to win Game 1 and 2. However, the Blackhawks won two toss-ups back at home in Chicago and then broke through on Jonathan Toews overtime goal Friday (photo above).

The “upset” gave the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead and chance to wrap up the series in Chicago. If they do not, the defending champions would need to go back to St. Louis Tuesday in a decisive Game 7.

LA wins at San Jose, still down 3-2

Los Angeles also broke through in Game 5 after two previous losses at San Jose. The 30-save shutout by Jonathan Quick gives the Kings a chance to go back to Los Angeles, but they will need to win again there to force a Game 7 at San Jose and try to pull off the series Tuesday.

Columbus won at Pittsburgh in Game 2; now trails 3-2

It took a second overtime in Game 2 to get Columbus their first playoff win ever. Matt Calvert scored his first playoff goal for the win. However, Pittsburgh got the split in Columbus as well, and then took Game 5 back at home to regain the 3-2 lead. A win at Columbus in Game 6, or back at home Wednesday would send the Penguins to the next series.

Detroit Shocks Boston in Game 1; then loses series 4-1

The only Game 1 upset was a big one – as the Detroit Red Wings continued their mastery of the league’s best team – the Boston Bruins – when Pavel Datsyuk scored the only goal of the game.  The table gave them only a 25% chance of the upset in that game.

However, this was the only series in which one team – the Bruins – was favored in every game home and away. That is exactly what happened when the Bruins won the next four games to win the series 4-1.

The games at Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, New York (Rangers), Philadelphia and Tampa Bay were all calculated as toss-ups (neither team had a 60% chance to win). Montreal has already won it’s opening round series (vs. Tampa Bay).