Sure the Nathan Horton injury could really affect the Boston Bruins' chances but they did win the 2011 Stanley Cup without him in the lineup for the last four games of that series. Remember this:
The bigger problem is the loss in Game 1 in the third overtime at 11:59 pm local Blackhawk Time. History has shown up over and over the team that loses a long (we're talking over two overtimes) overtime game in the Final, does not recover.
Remember the "underdog" '90 Edmonton Oilers and Petr Klima's buckethead helmet:
Needless to say, that Klima goal happened in Game 1 also in the third overtime against the B's so cue the eerie ominous fate to come.
Anyway, just because we all know history does repeat itself, here's the list of all the three-overtime games in various Finals:
1931 Game 3 Black Hawks 3 - Habnadiens 2
Cy Wentworth at 13:50 of the third overtime (use the Pat Foley voice).
Montreal wins the series (wait, what?) 3 games to 2 (a five-game Final?).
1990 Game 1 Oil 3 - Bruins 2
Oilers (sans Gretzky in LA) take it 4 games to 1.
1996 Game 4 Avs 1 - Ratsters 0
Uwe Krupp from the point and the sweep over Florida is official.
1999 Game 6 Stars 2 - Sabres 1
Brett Hull puts his foot in the crease and a stupid rule is quickly erased as he nets the Cup-winning goal.
One Hull of a goal
2000 Game 5 Stars 1 - Devils 0
Wow, does anyone outside these two cities even remember this game? Plus what is up with Dallas and three-OT games? Oh, yeah, shots 48-41 over 106 minutes and only one goal. No wonder we forgot. Even the goal--Mike Modano. Here's a reminder.
The Devils win Game 6 in double OT so, hm, curse did not hold thanks to Jason Arnott.
2002 Game 3 Red Wings 3 - Canes 2
Again the dead puck '00s. Points awarded if you remember Igor Larionov scored the winner. Wings take the series 4 games to 1.
2008 Game 5 Penguins 4 - Red Wings 3
The summary of this one is wild. Read on here. Petr Sykora (those pesky ex-Devils are everywhere) with the winner.
Detroit went on to win Game 6 and the series.
So, I take that back, your team can recover from that devastating long-OT loss. It's nearly a 50/50 shot so advantage no team after Game 1.
Could we also stop going on about how many shots whatever goalie has faced/stopped through these long overtime games (or even the ones that finish sooner). Last night we kept hearing about how many saves Tuukka Rask had made. Great info without context. When you're on about his 59 saves the 63 shots worked out to an average of 33 shots per a regular 60-minute game. It's not like he was pummeled with rubber in OT. It was his play in the the regulation game facing 39 shots that kept Boston in it more despite the three goals Rask gave up (or should I say minus the one shot going wide that banked off Andrew Ference to tie it up).
This was not the 1987 Kelly Hrudey and Bob Mason mano-a-mano Game 7 Easter Epic. The shots in that 4OT game: Capitals 75-Isles 57. The Caps averaged 13 shots a period for periods 4 through 6. Then they ran out if gas and only had one shot through 8:47 of period 7 until Pat Lafontaine scored for the Islanders.
This was not that other insane game the Capitals were involved in. The 1996 3-2 loss vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins that had Mario Lemieux gets tossed, a penalty shot in overtime (that Joe Juneau of the Caps failed to convert vs. the Pens' Ken Wregget) before Petr Nedved ended it rifling a laser past Ollie the Goalie at half past the "Carson Daly Show." Shed a tear for both Michal Pivonka and Kelly Miller who were "experienced" both games as long-time Caps' players.
Shots in that one over 79:16--Pens 65-Caps 55 with the Caps outshooting the Pens in OT 37-12.
So, yeah, folks, long overtimes can be both frustrating ("Somebody please score!") or exhilirating ("They scored? They scored!"). The only thing is, too much of a long-OT thing and unless you're a diehard, it's bedtime.