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Cup Winners Overcoming Adversity

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Old
10-17-2015, 08:50 AM
  #1
Randomtask68
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Cup Winners Overcoming Adversity

Basically I'm interested in instances where a team faced adversity, whether it be in the regular season or playoffs, and ultimately overcame it to win the Stanley Cup. Moments like winning a series after being down 2-0, 3-0 or 3-1 qualify as adversity, any sort of game 7 most likely, and probably overcoming an injury to one of their top players for a decent period of time.

For example

2011 Boston Bruins
- Down 2-0 to Montreal in Round 1 (lost both games at home)
- Win Game 7 in overtime in Round 1
- Win a tight Game 7 against Tampa Bay in Round 3
- Down 2-0 to Vancouver in SCF
- Lose first line right winger Nathan Horton in game 3 of SCF
- Win Game 7 of SCF on the road

I'm sure moments like these happen with almost every winning team but I'm just curious to see how prevalent it is to see a championship team need to come back in a series, play in a game 7 or win despite losing a key player. Thanks!

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10-17-2015, 12:20 PM
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Big Phil
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Ones that stand out in my mind would be the Penguins in 1992. Mario going down with that awful slash from Graves. He misses 3-4 games in the playoffs and the likes of Ron Francis steps up and takes his place. Mario comes back and dominates the rest of the postseason. When he is lifting the Cup he still has a tensor bandage on his wrist.

The 2001 Avs lost Forsberg after round 2. That's a pretty big blow. Sakic and Roy stepped up big time after that I thought.

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10-18-2015, 02:38 PM
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Kyle McMahon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randomtask68 View Post

I'm sure moments like these happen with almost every winning team but I'm just curious to see how prevalent it is to see a championship team need to come back in a series, play in a game 7 or win despite losing a key player. Thanks!
Pretty rare that a team wins without falling under any of those criteria, at least in the last 25 years.

I think the 2008 Wings and 2012 Kings are the only teams since the Oilers dynasty that won the Cup while never trailing in a series or requiring a Game 7. And come to think of it, even the Oilers only met the criteria once, in 1988. Of course this considers trailing 1-0 in a series to be a come from behind win, which may not meet your criteria for a comeback, but even then only a small number of other teams would join Detroit and LA.

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10-18-2015, 08:10 PM
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The New York Islanders. A surprise team in '75, serious contenders but beaten by lesser teams in '78 (leafs in Game 7 OT at Nassau Coliseum!) and '79 (rags).

Injury plagued 79-80 regular season and Slumping down the stretch going into the ' 80 playoffs then acquire butch goring, finish the season undefeated and win the first of 4 cups in a row and 5 straight finals appearances

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10-19-2015, 11:56 AM
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The 2012 and 2014 Kings

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10-19-2015, 02:30 PM
  #6
Fresh Prince
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The 2012 and 2014 Kings
At what point did they overcame adversity?

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10-19-2015, 02:33 PM
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double5son10
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1971 Canadiens
--After the team had missed the playoffs the previous year, the 1st time in 22 yrs., team leaders Jean Beliveau and John Ferguson had to be talked into returning. Other leaders from the 60s Dynasty, Gump Worsley, Claude Provost, Ted Harris, Bobby Rousseau, Ralph Backstrom, Dick Duff, had either retired, been traded or lost in intra-league draft. Come playoff time there would be a half-dozen rookies, and another in Pete Mahovlich who had largely been a minor leaguer to that point, that would play significant minutes for the Canadiens during their run to the Cup.
--After a mediocre start (11-8-4) coach Claude Ruel stepped down, replaced by anglophone Al MacNeil. This, of course, didn't sit well w/ the French language press and many francophone fans, particularly coming as it did on the heels of the October Crises (look it up if you're unfamiliar).
--Serge Savard rebroke the same leg he had injured the previous year in January and was lost for the season.
--Uneven goaltending from Rogie Vachon and Phil Myre led to the call-up of Ken Dryden near the end of the season and he would get the nod for the playoffs after only six regular season starts.
--Their first round opponent was arguably the greatest regular-season scoring team the league has ever seen, the Esposito-Orr Bruins (7 players in the top-ten in scoring that season). Bruins had finished first overall, 24 points ahead of the Canadiens.
--They lost game 1 to Boston and were down 5-1 in the 2nd game in the Garden before rallying to win.
--Won game 7 in Boston Garden, despite giving up 48 shots (thank you Ken Dryden).
--In the Finals, after being benched at the end of a gm.5 loss, Henri Richard calls coach MacNeil "incompetent", leading to an explosion of resentment towards MacNeil in the francophone press. MacNeil received death threats and had to have police guard him on the bench during gm.6 in the Forum, a Canadiens' victory.
--Won gm.7 in Chicago Stadium 3-2 after being down 0-2 with just under two minutes left in the 2nd period (Richard scored the tying and game winning goals).

After the season MacNeil accepted a demotion to return to his native Nova Scotia and coach the Habs farm club there. Bilingual native Montrealer Scotty Bowman took his place.
I should note Montreal made a super midseason trade, getting Frank Mahovlich from Detroit for three players. Mahovlich led the playoffs in scoring, and while he was a great addition making the trade for him was no sure thing. He was 33 at the time, scoring well but playing for a bad Red Wings team and had been pegged as "enigmatic" and a head case. Given the pressures to win in Montreal the trade could've easily blown up. It didn't and the Canadiens were a much better team for it.

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10-19-2015, 02:40 PM
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At what point did they overcame adversity?
During the regular season, coaching change midway through the season and the first ever eighth place team to win a Cup. They were also one of the worst teams offensively during the season.

Then they proceed to dominate in the playoffs and knocked out the top three teams in the Western Conference standings, including the Presidents' Trophy winners.

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10-19-2015, 03:01 PM
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The 2008 Wings did overcome adversity in Round 1 when Hasek suddenly realized he was old and started letting in timely goals to the Predators in games 3 and 4, allowing them to tie the series and go into game 5 with momentum.

The goalie change could have destroyed the season, but thankfully Osgood won 8 games in a row and didn't look back.

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10-19-2015, 05:06 PM
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2002 Wings come to mind.

Fell behind 2-0 at home in first round against Vancouver, won next four after that.
They also had to go to Colorado for game six trailing 3-2 and facing elimination; Hasek had shutouts in games 6 and 7.
Even in the finals, Carolina stole game one less than a minute into overtime and looked like they would win game three before Brett Hull scored with 1:14 left in regulation and Igor Larionov won it in the third overtime for the Wings.

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10-19-2015, 07:29 PM
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09 Penguins

Down 0-2 to both the Caps and Wings.
Gonchar gets injured in Game 4 vs Washington and becomes a defensive liability for the rest of playoffs because he's on 1.5 MCLs.
Crosby misses most-all of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Of course, certain cynics will say they were aided by officiating in that first series and scheduling in the second. And Rob Scuderi's Vezina Candidate impression.

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10-19-2015, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
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At what point did they overcame adversity?
The 2012 Kings lost 8 games in a row in November before firing Terry Murray, and they were sitting well below 2 GPG and last in the league in that category. They also hadn't won a playoff series since 2001. I think people expected them to rally after the firing, but it was more of a "take what you can from this season" learning experience type of expectation.

In 2014, they're the eighth seed again, and were down 3 games to zero against the Sharks in round 1. Both teams absolutely fit the criteria, albeit for different reasons.

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10-19-2015, 10:29 PM
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Sprague Cleghorn
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2014 Kings have been mentioned with their 3-0 comeback. Thus 1942 Leafs must also be mentioned. Two of the four teams to come back from a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs and win the Cup.

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10-20-2015, 09:29 AM
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The 2006 Hurricanes where down 2-0 to the Canadiens in Round 1 too and in Game 3 had to win in overtime.

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10-20-2015, 11:28 PM
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Hawkey Town 18
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2013 Hawks came back from being down 3 games to 1 (and losing 3 consecutive games) to the Red Wings to win in game 7 OT after a very late 3rd period Hawks goal in game 7 was disallowed for a whistle just seconds before the puck went in. The whistle was for a very small scuffle far away from the play that never should have been blown. Essentially the Hawks has to "win that game twice"

This is series is also the only time we've really seen an opponent get in Jonathan Toews' head, a team effort but primarily in the form of Zetterberg. Thanks to some support from his teammates Toews was able to overcome it. You may remember the scene where Toews gets sent to the box yet again for retaliating and Seabrook skates over and talks to him briefly...that was the beginning of the turnaround


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10-21-2015, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
2013 Hawks came back from being down 3 games to 1 (and losing 3 consecutive games) to the Red Wings to win in game 7 OT after a very late 3rd period Hawks goal in game 7 was disallowed for a whistle just seconds before the puck went in. The whistle was for a very small scuffle far away from the play that never should have been blown. Essentially the Hawks has to "win that game twice"

This is series is also the only time we've really seen an opponent get in Jonathan Toews' head, a team effort but primarily in the form of Zetterberg. Thanks to some support from his teammates Toews was able to overcome it. You may remember the scene where Toews gets sent to the box yet again for retaliating and Seabrook skates over and talks to him briefly...that was the beginning of the turnaround
Even as a non-Hawks fan, I'll probably never forget this moment. One of my all-time favourite pep-talk moments. Cemented Seabrook's legacy as a leader to me.

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10-21-2015, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkey Town 18 View Post
2013 Hawks came back from being down 3 games to 1 (and losing 3 consecutive games) to the Red Wings to win in game 7 OT after a very late 3rd period Hawks goal in game 7 was disallowed for a whistle just seconds before the puck went in. The whistle was for a very small scuffle far away from the play that never should have been blown. Essentially the Hawks has to "win that game twice"

This is series is also the only time we've really seen an opponent get in Jonathan Toews' head, a team effort but primarily in the form of Zetterberg. Thanks to some support from his teammates Toews was able to overcome it. You may remember the scene where Toews gets sent to the box yet again for retaliating and Seabrook skates over and talks to him briefly...that was the beginning of the turnaround
A Wings fan could easily b***h about the officiating in game 6 of that series.

Of course, some Wings fans (myself included) still claim the Wings choked that series. Others say the Hawks underachieved with that roster. Time will tell how people will look back on that series.

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10-21-2015, 10:47 PM
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The Panther
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I understand a difference between "overcoming adversity" and "overcoming your own bad play".

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10-21-2015, 10:53 PM
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Ones that stand out in my mind would be the Penguins in 1992. Mario going down with that awful slash from Graves. He misses 3-4 games in the playoffs and the likes of Ron Francis steps up and takes his place. Mario comes back and dominates the rest of the postseason. When he is lifting the Cup he still has a tensor bandage on his wrist.

The 2001 Avs lost Forsberg after round 2. That's a pretty big blow. Sakic and Roy stepped up big time after that I thought.
That's the first one to come to mind for me.

1950 Red Wings losing Gordie Howe after Ted Kennedy busts open his head has to be up there too; it cemented Sid Abel's status as a legendary captain decades before Yzerman.

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10-22-2015, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Randomtask68 View Post
Basically I'm interested in instances where a team faced adversity, whether it be in the regular season or playoffs, and ultimately overcame it to win the Stanley Cup. Moments like winning a series after being down 2-0, 3-0 or 3-1 qualify as adversity, any sort of game 7 most likely, and probably overcoming an injury to one of their top players for a decent period of time.
2000 Devils team remains my favorite. They won the Cup in 1995, but there was a bit of a stigma since it was a lockout shortened season. They missed the playoffs in 1996 and had playoff disappointments in 1997-1999. The Devils were still in first place down the stretch but were playing poorly. So Lou Lamoriello made the call to fire Robbie Ftorek with only a handful of games left in the season.

They swept Florida in the opening round and beat a tough Leafs club in six in the second round.

Devils won game 1 of the ECF against the Flyers but proceeded to drop the next three games. The Flyers had also been on their run without the services of Eric Lindros. Game 5 was in Philly and the Devils dominated to force a Game 6.

Lindros came back in Game 6. The game was scoreless going into the third before Claude Lemieux was able to put home a rebound. Alexander Mogilny added a huge insurance goal as Lindros would score late in the game to cut the lead to 2-1.

Game 7 is forever remembered for the Lindros hit. Patrik Elias would score late in regulation to the send the Devils to the Finals.

The ECF/late coaching change was probably the biggest adversity. They went up against the defending champion Dallas Stars in the Finals but the Devils never trailed in the series. Derian Hatcher had knocked Petr Sykora out of game 6 with a hit, but Dallas had lost Darryl Sydor to an earlier injury. The Devils would win the Cup in OT.

----------

The 2003 club faced some adversity as they found themselves in the opposite situation from 2000 as they were up 3-1 in the ECF. Ottawa battled back to force a game 7.

During OT in game 6, Joe Nieuwendyk went down with a non-contact back injury (albeit, probably an accumulation of wear and tear). Nieuwendyk dressed for game 7 but only could will a couple shifts before the pain was too much.

The 2003 Devils weren't nearly as deep as the 2000 Devils (it's easy to forget that the Devils were a high scoring club at one point). So Nieuwendyk not being able to go meant a lot more ice time for John Madden and Pascal Rheaume.

Game 7 was in Ottawa and it was eerily similar to Game 7 in 2000 against Philadelphia. Overtime looked likely then Jeff Friesen scored with a couple minutes left in the third like Elias had done in 2000.

In the Finals, the Devils dressed a couple different guys in place for Nieuwendyk. Rheaume in particular saw a lot more ice time than you'd ideally want for a 4th line center. Mike Rupp then had the game of his life and got the GWG in game 7 along with two assists.

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10-22-2015, 02:11 PM
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Both recent LA teams.

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10-22-2015, 10:54 PM
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The 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs are the winners of this by a landslide. Nothing comes close though there are numerous other great stores.

Leafs' 1942 comeback was ultimate playoff rally

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist


Imagine the task that confronted the Toronto Maple Leafs after Game 3 of the 1942 Stanley Cup Final. Not only had they blown a 2-0 lead in Game 3 and lost 5-2 at Detroit, but they trailed the series 3-0 -- a deficit no team had ever overcome.

To make matters even worse, Game 4 was scheduled for the Olympia in Detroit, where the Wings enjoyed a tremendous home-ice advantage.

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=607272


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10-23-2015, 07:47 AM
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Not as good an example as some of the above, but the 79 Habs.

They were almost down and out in game 7 against the Bruins. We all know that story.

It was a tough season for the team that year. They had a lot of impact injuries and only Lafleur was a consistent offensive threat and Dryden slipped back into the pack a bit. Lafleur really carried the Habs that year.

Dryden didn't look great against the Bruins and in game 1 against the Rangers. Bowman was going to switch to Laroque for game 2. Laroque got injured in the pregame warmup and Dryden was back in and the rest is history.

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10-23-2015, 10:14 AM
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McNurse
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At what point did they overcame adversity?
They were the final seed. But I see what you mean, they steamrolled in the playoffs

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10-23-2015, 01:30 PM
  #25
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Not as good an example as some of the above, but the 79 Habs.

They were almost down and out in game 7 against the Bruins. We all know that story.

It was a tough season for the team that year. They had a lot of impact injuries and only Lafleur was a consistent offensive threat and Dryden slipped back into the pack a bit. Lafleur really carried the Habs that year.

Dryden didn't look great against the Bruins and in game 1 against the Rangers. Bowman was going to switch to Laroque for game 2. Laroque got injured in the pregame warmup and Dryden was back in and the rest is history.
Is that really the case? 1st Team AS, Vezina, led the league in GAA & shutouts, finished 3rd in save % and backstopped the top PK in the league. Not really "the pack" numbers. Yes, his numbers were up from the previous three absolutely dominating seasons, but so were Larocques.
As for the playoffs, yes Dryden wasn't his usual consistent self. He wasn't great in gms 6 & 7 in the semis against Boston, but I always thought he was hung out to dry in gm.1 against NYR. Two of the goals Dryden surrendered were turnovers by teammates on cross-ice passes right in front of the net. Having watched that game recently it seemed more a case that the Canadiens just didn't have their legs after winning a gm.7 OT epic. Starting Larocque may have been to shake the team up as much as anything. Or maybe not, since that effectively was three statistically poor performances in a row. Nevertheless after gm.1 Dryden settled down with a sv% of .9156 over the following four games. Pretty darn solid for the era.
Anyway, I'd say the biggest things the Canadiens had to overcome that playoff year were their own high expectations and a really good Boston team that got a boost by benching Cheevers and going w/ Gilbert.

Edit: In thinking about it further that team in '79 had a number of points that they did overcome, namely that their coach and goaltender both knew they were moving on after the season. That's certainly going to affect their focus even if the rest of the team didn't know it for certain. Also Cournoyer's back kept him out most of the year and would force him to retire during camp the following season. Lemaire did also miss 30 games, though he was healthy come playoff time.


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