Our NHL analyst takes a historical look at the San Jose Sharks franchise history, and assesses their chances of overcoming a 2-0 Stanley Cup Finals series deficit.
Sharks 24-Year Wait Finally Ends
The San Jose Sharks have been in existence for 24 years since its inaugural 1991-1992 NHL season. With all things being considered, they've been a fairly successful franchise. After all, they've qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 18 of 24 seasons, and reached the Western Conference Finals four times (2004, 2010, 2011, & 2016).
However, entering this 2015-2016 NHL campaign, they've failed in advancing to a Stanley Cup Final. Well the wait has finally ended, and it came as a result of winning their 2016 Western Conference Finals series in six games over St. Louis.
Good News and Bad News Scenarios
Let's start with the good news. On Saturday night, the San Jose Sharks will host its first ever Stanley Cup Finals game in franchise history. Despite being the best road team (28-10-3) in hockey during regular season action, San Jose inexplicably struggled at home (18-20-3). Before we jump to conclusions, consider this, San Jose has won seven of its last 8 home games during these playoffs.
The Sharks are coming off a disheartening 2-1 overtime loss at Pittsburgh in Game 2, and now find themselves in an unenviable 2-0 hole. Going back to the bright side, San Jose is 15-4 during their last 19 games, following a loss in its previous outing.
Harsh Reality of a 2-0 Series Deficit
This will be the eleventh time in franchise history that San Jose has fallen behind 2-0 during a playoff series. Unfortunately, they lost each of those previous ten series.
There have been 54 teams which have fallen behind 2-0 in Stanley Cup Finals history, and just 5 of those clubs have succeeded in overcoming that deficit to go on and win hockey's most cherished prize. If you're keeping score at home, 89.8% of teams that jumped out to a 2-0 series lead in a Stanley Cup Final have gone on to capture Lord Stanley's trophy.
The last team to come back from a 2-0 hole in a Stanley Cup Final was in 2011, and that's when the Boston Bruins did it. Boston was in the exact same situation that San Jose finds itself. They lost the first two games of the series on enemy ice, and miraculously rebounded to win in seven games against Vancouver. That particular artifact offers a glimmer of hope in regards to the Sharks hopes.
The harsh reality is, the NHL odds are overwhelmingly stacked against San Jose duplicating Boston's comeback accomplished five springs ago.
Current Stanley Cup Futures Odds
Heading into Game 3 on Saturday night, NHL betting odds at TheGreek has San Jose as a massive +450 underdog to win the Stanley Cup. Considering everything I previously touched upon, those odds are no shock to me whatsoever, and it shouldn't be to you as well.
Surely the return on investment is awfully enticing, but I would strongly advise making that one of your NHL picks.