SUNRISE, FL - APRIL 21: Goaltender Jose Theodore #60 of the Florida Panthers defends the net as Zach Parise #9 of the New Jersey Devils hits the puck with his hand in front of the net in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the BankAtlantic Center on April 21, 2012 in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers defeated the Devils 3-0. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
The Panthers will play in only their second game seven tonight. They won the previous one, back in 1996, which, incidentally, was the last year they won a playoff series. This will be the first time that the Cats have hosted a game seven. This is new territory for the team and the fans. Much has been made of it, including an appeal on Facebook from the Panthers' in-arena announcer Bill Murphy asking fans to overcome their natural nervousness and do their best to encourage the team through the whole game (something that did not happen in Boston last night).
There is, however, a wealth of playoff experience in the Panthers' dressing room and that includes game seven experience. A look at the game seven experience on the Panthers roster after the jump.
Tomas Fleischmann was on both sides in the same season as a member of the Washington Capitals, who beat the New York Rangers in seven in the first round and lost to the Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round.
John Madden played in a number of seven game series while playing for the Devils, including the first round loss to Carolina in 2009, a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round and a loss to the Colorado Avalanche in the Cup final in 2001 and back to back wins against the Ottawa Senators and Anaheim Ducks to win the Cup in 2003. He had an assist on Jeff Friesen's game winner against the Senators and a goal and an assist in the 5-1 victory over the Leafs, but didn't reach the scoreboard in any of the losses.
Mikael Samuelsson scored a goal in the Detroit Red Wings' second round game seven victory over Anaheim in 2009, but was kept of the scoresheet in their Finals loss to the Penguins and Vancouver's overtime loss against the Blackhawks in 2011.
Marco Sturm was on the wrong end of a 5-0 game seven shutout at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens while a member of the Bruins in 2008 and a 1-0 shutout at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche in 2002 while a member of the San Jose Sharks. He also had no points in a Sharks win over St. Louis in 2000
Brian Campbell has been on both sides of first round game sevens, losing a 2-1 overtime game against the Vancouver Canucks last season as part of the Chicago Blackhawks and assisting on Jeremy Roenick's go ahead goal in a win over the Calgary Flames in 2008. He was also on the losing end in the 2006 Eastern Conference Final while still a member of the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres lost 4-2 to the eventual Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes.
Ed Jovanovski has played in several game sevens since he was a part of the Panthers' lone game seven back in 1996. He played in the 2010 game seven loss to the Detroit Red Wings as part of the Phoenix Coyotes, and three seven game series while he played for the Canucks: a first round win against the St. Louis Blues and a second round loss to the Minnesota Wild in 2003 and a 2004 overtime loss against Calgary.
Brodeur vs. Theodore
Yesterday, Pro Hockey Talk looked at Martin Brodeur's career game seven numbers, finding that he has played in nine game seven game series and won the series clincher five times, once in each of the first two rounds, twice in the Eastern Conference Final and once in the Cup Final. What's interesting is that Brodeur is better in the later rounds. His worst game seven record is in the first round (1-3). This mirrors the rest of his career in that the first has been his worst round. Looking at his career numbers, his elimination game record in the first round isn't very good (2-7), but he's hardly ever played an elimination game in a later round that wasn't a game seven. Over the years of Brodeur's career, the Devils have generally had two results: out quickly in the first round, or deep into the playoffs.
Jose Theodore, by contrast, has generally been good in the first round, but has never won in the second. Barring his two seasons in Washington, where Bruce Boudreau twice pulled him after the first game of the first round, he has never lost a first round series, winning all four series that he started. Theodore has been to a game seven once, against the Bruins in 2004, and posted a shutout (2-0). Theodore's series wins were all as part of the lower seeded team. This series is the first time he's started in more than two games for the team with home ice.
Jose Theodore Playoff Record
1st: vs. MTL: OTL, (W) (pulled in game 2)
1st: vs. NYR: L (played game 1 only)
2nd: vs. PIT: (L) (played game 7 in relief)
1st: vs. MIN: W(OT), OTL, OTL, W, W, W
2nd: vs. Detroit: L, L, L, L (Jose had the flu and was pulled in games 1, 2 & 4)
1st: vs. Dallas: W, W, W, L, W (OT)
2nd: vs. Anaheim: L, L, OTL, L
1st: vs. Boston: L, OTL, W, OTL, W, W, W
2nd: vs. TBL: L, L, OTL, L
1st: vs. Boston: W, L, W, L, W, W
2nd: vs. Carolina: L, W, W(OT), OTL, L, L
Game 7 record: 1-1 (SO) 1.000
Overtime record: 3-11 .272
Elimination game record first round: 1-1 1.00
First round: 1-1 1.00
Second round: 0-4 0.00
Martin Brodeur Playoff Record
Game 7 record: 5-9 .555
First round: 1-3 .333
Second round: 1-1 1.00
Conference Final: 2-3 (loss in 2OT) .666
Cup Final: 1-2 (1 SO) .500
Overtime record: 12-26 .461
Elimination game record: 11-22 .500
First round: 4-11 .363
Second round: 2-4 .500
Conference Final: 4-5 .800
Cup Final: 1-2 (1 SO) .500