Stanley Cup Finals: Is winning Game 1 really a big deal?

In a best-of-seven series, there are plenty of opportunities to win. While all games matter, is there a statistical advantage for the winner of Game 1 in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals?
Edmonton Oilers v Florida Panthers - Game One
Edmonton Oilers v Florida Panthers - Game One / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

We’ve all heard it: 75% of the teams winning Game 1 in the Stanley Cup Finals tend to become victorious and crowned champions.

It's an impressive statistic and seems like an almost impossible hurdle for the loser to conquer.

Is there much weight in the Game 1 argument?

Florida Panthers vs. Vegas Golden Knights
Winner of Game 1: Vegas Golden Knights
Champion: Vegas Golden Knights

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Colorado Avalanche
Winner of Game 1: Colorado Avalanche
Champion: Colorado Avalanche

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens
Winner of Game 1: Tampa Bay Lightning
Champion: Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Dallas Stars
Winner of Game 1: Dallas Stars
Champion: Tampa Bay Lightning

Boston Bruins vs. St. Louis Blues
Winner of Game 1: Boston Bruins
Champion: St. Louis Blues

So there you have it: Three out of the last five series finals resulted in a championship victory for the Game 1 winner.

The Dallas Stars and Boston Bruins won their first game and lost the finals.

The Game 1 debate is interesting, but statistical data doesn't make it as terrifying as it seems.

The second game is what really counts, with the St. Louis Blues taking the victory over the Bruins in 2018-19. Likewise in, Game 2, Tampa Bay defeated Dallas in 2019-20.

Despite the undeniable momentum of the Florida Panthers, who are leading the series 1-0 and playing on their home ice, the Edmonton Oilers have a golden opportunity to emulate the successes of the St. Louis Blues in the 2018-19 season and the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2019-20 season. They can achieve this by securing a victory in Game 2 and leveling the series.

Of course, the Blues went to Game 7, winning in Boston. Meanwhile, the Lightning won Game 6, winning the Dallas Stars 4-2 (series) for their championship victory in 2019-20.

Fear not, Oilers fans, it's not over for you. But it’s crucial to come out of Game 2 with a victory.