And just like that, the Edmonton Oilers’ chances at hoisting their first Stanley Cup in 34 years have been decimated.


Just like the Roman legionnaires of ancient times, when one in 10 paid the ultimate price as punishment when things went wrong, the Oilers have no better than one in 10 chances to come away with a championship after dropping the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final to the Florida Panthers.

Worse, in fact.

A quick look at the NHL record books show teams that are 0-2 in Round 4 end up losing the series 91 per cent of the time. OK, 90.7 per cent, if you’re a stickler.

Teams that have won the first two games of the final have gone on to win the Cup by an all-time record of 49-5.

The last team to come back from an 0-2 deficit in the Stanley Cup Final and win the series was the 2011 Boston Bruins. It’s also the exact same position the Panthers found themselves in on the way to losing last year’s final to the Vegas Golden Knights.

Typically, it’s the team with the lower record over the regular season that ends up in trouble, while the higher seed has home-ice advantage in the 2-2-1-1-1 best-of-seven format, where the first two games are played in their rink. The Panthers need to just win two more of the next five, and two of those, Games 5 and 7, will be played back in Florida.

As long as we’re on the topic of long odds, it is interesting to note the Oilers are +112 (that means risking $100 to win $112) to win the Cup. They were +450 to win the Cup at the start of the second round against the Vancouver Canucks, and +1,100 at the start of the regular season.

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On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge