With each the NBA and NHL playoffs advancing into mid-May, the stakes are being raised considerably in each basketball and hockey alike. And this weekend, the championship ambitions of teams in each leagues are on the road in a way they never have been before.
This weekend, a complete of seven Game 7s are being contested between the NBA playoffs and the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs, setting a latest 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, Recent York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, and Dallas Stars vs. Calgary Flames — will likely be contested between Saturday and Sunday. Sunday may even 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 5, which was set on the primary weekend of May in 2014. That yr, all five Game 7s were within the NBA.
The abundance of Game 7s within the NHL will determine the look of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Presently, just one second round matchup has been determined, because the Colorado Avalanche will play the St. Louis Blues. The Florida Panthers have also advanced to the second round, and can play the winner of Game 7 between the Lightning and Maple Leafs.
Meanwhile, a visit to the Conference Finals hangs within the balance for the NBA’s two Game 7s. The winner of the Stars and Mavs Game 7 will play the Golden State Warriors within the Western Conference Finals, while whoever emerges between the Bucks and Bruins will play the Miami Heat within the Eastern Conference Finals.
Interestingly, each the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning and defending NBA champion Bucks are playing in Game 7s to avoid elimination and proceed their bids to repeat their titles.