May 18, 2010
In Boston tonight, game seven between the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers. The winner moves on in the National Hockey League playoffs. Game seven is a best of seven series and it's always decisive and almost always dramatic no matter the sport. But this one is even more intense and here's why.
This is the rare occasion when a team, in this case, the Bruins, had a three games to none lead and then lost three in a row.
The three are the 42 Maple Leaves, the 75 Islanders and in baseball, the Boston Red Sox in 2004. But six teams that have forced a game seven after three consecutive wins have lost. That actually doesn't surprise streakologist Alan Reifman, a professor at Texas Tech who has studied so-called hot hand research.
Professor ALAN REIFMAN (Streakologist, Texas Tech): Well, the whole tenant of hothead research is that momentum is overrated. Teams' long-term ability levels tend to win out in the long run.