Seven Game 7s will be played this weekend, breaking the previous record of five in 2014
With both the NBA and NHL playoffs advancing into mid-May, the stakes are being raised considerably in both basketball and hockey alike. And this weekend, the championship ambitions of teams in both leagues are on the line in a way they never have been before.
This weekend, a total of seven Game 7s are being contested between the NBA playoffs and the NHL‘s Stanley Cup playoffs, setting a new record for combined Game 7s in a single weekend. The NHL dominates that total, as five Game 7s — the Boston Bruins vs. Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, and Dallas Stars vs. Calgary Flames — will be contested between Saturday and Sunday. Sunday will also see the Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns in NBA Game 7s.
This weekend’s total of seven Game 7s breaks the previous record of five, which was set on the first weekend of May in 2014. That year, all five Game 7s were in the NBA.
The abundance of Game 7s in the NHL will determine the look of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Presently, only one second round matchup has been determined, as the Colorado Avalanche will play the St. Louis Blues. The Florida Panthers have also advanced to the second round, and will play the winner of Game 7 between the Lightning and Maple Leafs.
Meanwhile, a trip to the Conference Finals hangs in the balance for the NBA’s two Game 7s. The winner of the Stars and Mavs Game 7 will play the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, while whoever emerges between the Bucks and Bruins will play the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Interestingly, both the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning and defending NBA champion Bucks are playing in Game 7s to avoid elimination and continue their bids to repeat their titles.