The Los Angeles Kings visit the Chicago Blackhawks for Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals this evening. Stakes are high with the winner advancing to the NHL Stanley Cup Finals to face the New York Rangers.
How did we get to this point in the series? The Blackhawks won the first game of the series before the Kings won Games 2, 3 and 4. The Blackhawks then won Games 5 and 6 to even the series at 3-3. Chicago definitely has the momentum with Game 7 of the series at home. However, as I’ve written previously, anything can happen during the NHL Playoffs.
Why should the Blackhawks win? In addition to momentum, Chicago had a better record during the regular season as well as a higher goal differential (goals scored minus goals against).
Why should the Kings win? The Kings have a better defense than the Blackhawks, in terms of goals against during the regular season.
Interestingly enough, though, Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford edged Kings goalie Jonathan Quick in save percentage (.917 to .915) during the regular season.
One interesting factor is home-ice advantage. Coming into this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, the team with home ice during Game 7 has won a solid 63 percent of series that have gone the distance. Many factors point to the Blackhawks taking Game 7 and advancing to the finals.
I will be back with a “Who Will Win” quant fact prediction once the Stanley Cup finalists are determined. Quant fact predictions have correctly predicted the winner of major championships about 62 percent of the time including this year’s Super Bowl winner. Enjoy the game.
Carlton Chin is a portfolio manager, quant researcher, and sports analysis contributor at Rant Sports. Please follow him on Twitter @QuantFacts, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your Google network.