Blackhawks Set Longest Point Streak to Start Season
The 2013 lockout shortened NHL season is one third of the way complete and the Chicago Blackhawks have yet to lose in regulation play. The Blackhawks have played 17 games; won 14 and 3 have gone to overtime.
Friday night the Blackhawks played the Anaheim Ducks, the team with the league’s second best record and Chicago was tied with Anaheim going into Friday’s game having earned at least a point in all of their 17 games to start the season. The Ducks did the same thing during the 2006-07 season. However, the Blackhawks won Friday 2-1 to edge past the Anaheim Ducks and set a new record the longest point streak at the start of a season.
Chicago has been superlative thus far this season and for them to have won 14 games and had 3 go to overtime speaks to how well they have played. Chicago played all but 2 of their first 12 games away from home. Over that stretch of ten games, the Blackhawks were 8-0-2, before returning to Chicago’s United Center for a home stand of seven games.
In Anaheim’s first 16 games of their 2006-07 season, they played 10 of them on home ice and were 7-0-3. Chicago has had to travel twice to California, each time stopped in Phoenix as well, and a trip for two games to western Canada.
Of course, it has been pins and needles for many of the Chicago victories. The Blackhawks have won 11 of their first 17 games by just a single goal, including seven of them that went into overtime. The ‘hawks are 2-0 in their overtime games and 2-3 when it reaches a shootout.
Chicago’s defense has played superb, as offensively they have only produced 55 non-shootout goals over their 16 games. However, they have given up just 32 goals this season for a plus-23 differential. Even though the defense has surrendered less than two goals per game, Chicago only has a single shutout, while Anaheim had three after their first 16 games in 2006-07.
Even more impressive for the Blackhawks is they were 3-0-3 to end their regular season last year thus after Friday’s win have a record of 17-0-6 over their past 23 regular season games overall. The last time that was done in regular season, play was when the Montreal Canadians had 15 wins and 6 ties during the 1980 season.
If Chicago keeps picking up at least a point in their games, they will approach the 1977-78 Canadians who were 23-0-5 over a 28 game period. However, the all-time record belongs to the Philadelphia Flyers during the 1979-80 season, which scored at least a point in 35 straight games with 25 wins and 10 ties.
Leading the way for Chicago on offense this season are Patrick Kane who leads the team in both goals and assists and has 22 points on the season and Jonathan Toews who has 15 points. In goal, Corey Crawford is 7-0-3 with a 1.65 goals against average in 10 games and Ray Emery is 6-0-0 with a 2.28 goals against average.