How Many Games Are There in the Stanley Cup Final?

There are 7 games in the Stanley Cup Finals in the current format. This matches all of the other rounds of the playoffs, which are all 7 games long. The NHL made the switch to the current format back in 1939, and over a dozen Finals series’ have gone to all 7 games.

The Stanley Cup Finals is one of the most thrilling and exciting sports series’ in existence. Each team leaves it all out on the ice and plays their heart out each game to reach their goal. But how many games do the teams face off in throughout the series?

Read on to learn more about how many games there are in the Stanley Cup Final, how the format has changed over the years, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • Currently, there are 7 games in the Stanley Cup Finals, which is the same as all of the other series in the NHL playoffs.
  • The format for the Stanley Cup Finals has been this way since 1939. Before that, the Finals had been a best-of-five, a best-of-three, and various other formats. 
  • While the Stanley Cup Finals have been able to go 7 games for nearly a century, there have only been 17 occasions where the Stanley Cup Finals actually reached game 7.

How Many Games Are There in the Stanley Cup Final?

There are currently 7 games in the Stanley Cup Final. This matches the number of games in all other series throughout the playoffs. The first team to win 4 games in the series will be the winner.

The team with the better regular season record will host games 1, 2, 5, and 7 at home, and the Stanley Cup Final team with the worst record will host games 3, 4, and 6 at home.

The History of the Stanley Cup Finals

While the Stanley Cup Finals is currently a 7-game series, this wasn’t always the case. In fact, the Stanley Cup Finals has been a 3-game series, a 5-game series, and various other formats over the years.

The first officially-sanctioned series for the Stanley Cup took place in 1914, and it was a best-of-five series between the Victoria Aristocrats of the PCHA vs. the Toronto Hockey Club of the NHA.

The Finals continued as a best-of-five until 1922, and then shifted to a best-of-three in 1923-24. Then, the format would go back and forth between the two until the best-of-five was once again adopted from 1931 to 1938.

Finally, in 1939, the series switched to 7 games, where it has remained since. There have been adjustments to things like seeding and the overall playoff format, but the Finals has remained a best-of-seven for many decades now.

I personally prefer the 7-game series we have now, as it gives both teams plenty of games to compete, and ensures that one bad or unlucky game doesn’t cost a team too much.

How Many Stanley Cup Finals Have Gone to Game 7?

Despite the Stanley Cup Finals being a 7-game series since 1939, there have only been 17 occasions where a series has gone the distance. The most recent Stanley Cup Finals series that went 7 games was back in 2019, when the St. Louis Blues defeated the Boston Bruins.

It is hard to say why more Stanley Cup Finals don’t go to game 7. Most Stanley Cup Finals series are between two evenly-matched teams, but sometimes one team simply gets the momentum early and wins the series before the other team can get back into it.

On the other side of things, since the Stanley Cup Finals went to a best-of-seven, there have been 20 series sweeps, where one team wins four straight games to win the series quickly.

Final Thoughts

I hope this guide helped you learn more about how many games there are in the Stanley Cup Final, and taught you a little bit about the history of the series over the years.

What is your favorite Stanley Cup Finals series of all time? Let me know in a comment below.

About Kale
Being from Canada, hockey is essentially a way of life. I instantly fell in love with the game since I was being put on skates. From playing as a child (and the occasional street hockey game with friends today) to being a fan for over 20 years, I’m here to share my knowledge and passion for hockey. Email: [email protected]

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