2017 Stanley Cup

Stanley Cup Results

With a fantastic 24-game run, the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup after defeating the San Jose Sharks 4-2 in Game 6 of the Cup Final at SAP Center on Sunday. How do their numbers compare to those of other recent champions?

A statistical comparison to the previous 10 teams to win the Cup reveals the Penguins achieved their success with scoring depth, high shot volumes, consistent goaltending and effective special teams despite low shooting percentages, mediocre third-period play, and spending too much time in the defensive zone.

Overall, the Penguins are fairly typical Stanley Cup champions compared to the winners the previous 10 seaons. Their 3.04 goals per game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and their 2.29 goals allowed per game each ranks sixth out of 11.

All together, the Penguins scored 73 goals and allowed 55 for a goal differential of plus-18, which is tied with the 2014 Los Angeles Kings for fourth. The most dominant teams include the 2012 Kings (plus-27), the 2011 Boston Bruins (plus-28), and the 2008 Detroit Red Wings (plus-31).

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For the first 6 years of its existence, the cup was awarded to the team with the best record at the end of the season, but with a four way tie occurring in late 1894, the first Stanley Cup Playoffs occurred.

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INone of the Stanley Cup champions were perfect, and a statistical comparison can reveal a few of the weaknesses that Pittsburgh had to overcome.

In addition to a low shooting percentage, the Penguins were faced with two other notable obstacles: mediocre play in the third period and spending a lot of time in the defensive zone.

The Penguins took 49.8 percent of their faceoffs in the offensive zone, relative to the defensive zone. In the previous five seasons when such data was recorded, the Penguins rank next-to-last among Stanley Cup finalists, better than only the 2015 Tampa Bay Lightning (48.7 percent).

As for the third period, Pittsburgh outscored its opponents 20-19 throughout the postseason. That goal differential of plus-1 is next-to-last to the 2015 Blackhawks, who were tied 22-22 in the third period. The best third-period goal differential was the 2014 Kings, who outscored their opponents 30-16.

That's why Pittsburgh lost two of the 14 games it began the third period with the lead. No Stanley Cup winner lost more than a single game when entering the third with the lead, and seven of the 10 other teams were undefeated in such situations. The 2008 Red Wings were 14-0 when entering the third period with the lead.

Furthermore, the Penguins became the third recent Stanley Cup champion that never came back in any game it began the third period trailing, joining the 2008 Red Wings and 2011 Bruins.


Sharks 2, Penguins 4 (OT).

League Playoff Series

Stanley Cup Final 4 - 2 Chicago Blackhawks over Tampa Bay Lightning
Conference Finals 4 - 3 Tampa Bay Lightning over New York Rangers
Conference Finals 4 - 3 Chicago Blackhawks over Anaheim Ducks
Second Round 4 - 2 Tampa Bay Lightning over Montreal Canadiens
Second Round 4 - 3 New York Ranquers over Washington Capitals
Second Round 4 - 1 Anaheim Ducks over Calgary Flames
Second Round 4 - 0 Chicago Blackhawks over Minnesota Wild
First Round 4 - 3 Washington Capitals over New York Islanders
First Round 4 - 1 New York Ranquers over Pittsburgh Penguins
First Round 4 - 3 Tampa Bay Lightning over Detroit Red Wings
First Round 4 - 2 Montreal Canadiens over Ottawa Senators
First Round 4 - 0 Calgary Flames over Vancouver Canucks
First Round 4 - 2 Anaheim Ducks over Winnipeq Jets
First Round 4 - 2 Chicago Blackhawks over Nashville Predators
First Round 4 - 2 Minnesota Wild over St. Louis Blues

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