2014 has been a crazy playoffs for the Kings as tonight will be their 3rd Game 7 in three series. Three different series and three different routes to Game 7. Kings fans were pleased that the first two series went to 7 because the Kings had trailed the Sharks and Ducks going into their respective sixth games, but when the Kings went up 3-1 on Chicago – winning games 2, 3, and 4 all in convincing fashion – I don't think any of us was hoping to see three more games.
Everyone, it seems, expects the Hawks to prevail in Game 7 because they have all the momentum, having won two in a row (never mind the fact that the Kings should have had all the momentum when they'd won three in a row, so if momentum from game to game determined the winner of the next one this series would have been over a long time ago). But not every team who comes back from 3-1 to force a 7th game takes the series.
Remember 2001, Kings fans?
After upsetting the heavily favored Detroit Red Wings, the Kings stormed into their series against the top seed in the West (and Stanley Cup favorite) Colorado Avalanche, and stole the first game in overtime. But Colorado won the next three and on every hockey analysis show on TV all you heard was how dominant the Avalanche were and how impressive it was the way they were crushing the Kings (sounds really familiar when you compare it to the hyperbole that was flowing from NBCSN's talking heads about the Kings last week, doesn't it?). But with a pair of 1-goal victories, one in double overtime, to extend their season, the Kings forced a seventh and deciding contest.
Obviously, the Kings won, right? Because if you force a 7th game from a 3-1 deficit you have all the momentum and you're guaranteed a final victory, right?
Nope, the Avs won Game 7 5-1 and went on to win their second Stanley Cup championship in five years.
So much for guaranteed victories.