Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Chicago Blackhawks may have lost to Colorado Avalanche, but they can proud of their 24-game winning streak. Doug Pensinger / Getty Images
Chicago Blackhawks may have lost to Colorado Avalanche, but they can proud of their 24-game winning streak. Doug Pensinger / Getty Images

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks' winning streak incredible in age of parity

The franchise have dominated game at a time when salary caps mean dynastic clubs are a thing of the past, writes Gregg Patton.

Chicago franchise have dominated game at a time when salary caps mean dynastic clubs are a thing of the past, writes Gregg Patton

Talent and good fortune were an impressive combination. But the Chicago Blackhawks' streak could not last forever.

It was the Colorado Avalanche who finally exploited the serendipity of the whole thing with an emphatic 6-2 victory.

After reaching the precise halfway point of the NHL's lockout-shortened season without losing a game in regulation, the Hawks 24-game points run ended in Colorado on Friday.

"Everyone contributed to something that hadn't been done," Joel Quenneville, the Chicago coach, said of the streak in his post-game remarks. "It gained a little momentum. Our opponents treated [each one] like it was a meaningful game."

It was a record run to start any season, beating by eight games the 2006/07 Anaheim Ducks' mark. Chicago also had a 30-game regular-season streak dating back to last spring.

"It was great, it was talked about a lot, and it should have been," the goalie Corey Crawford said.

If the Blackhawks fell short of the 1979/80 Philadelphia Flyers, who ran up a record 35-game streak in which they either won or tied a game, Chicago surely must know how improbable their run had been.

The Flyers record-setters played when dominance was routine. Philadelphia topped a record that had been set just two years before, when the Montreal Canadiens had strung together 28 consecutive wins and ties.

Current NHL teams deal with a multitude of streak-hampering barriers. Parity is a reality, thanks to a salary cap and loosened free-agency rules that limit teams from building dynastic clubs. In this compressed season, in particular, each team will have abnormally high numbers of games over short periods of times, straining their powers of recuperation.

Most of all, hockey is a sport of funny bounces and unforeseen ricochets. The most improbable thing about Chicago's streak was that a bounce or ricochet did not cost them a game in regulation.

Of the Hawks' 21 victories, seven were achieved in overtime or in a shoot-out, and five more came by one goal in regulation. "When we found ourselves in tight [games], we found a way to win," said the forward Jonathan Toews.

On Friday, it was as if some of the odds corrected themselves. The Avalanche broke a 1-1 tie with four consecutive goals in the second period and crushed the best team in the league.

If the streak was a publicity gift for the NHL, coming off its lockout, it quickly will be just a memory for the Hawks.

"It's a pretty cool thing," Toews said. "We'll take confidence from it and go forward from here. We always knew we'd have a lot of work left."



Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Al Rayyan's Yakubu Ayegbeni, left, tries to escape the attention of Jazira's Khamis Ismail. Karim Jaafar / AFP Photo

Late strike puts Al Jazira on verge of qualifying for the last 16 of Asian Champions League

All to play for across East Asia during final round of group phase.

 Manchester City's Vincent Kompany reacts after being sent off by referee Lee Mason during their English Premier League soccer match against Hull City at the KC stadium in Hull, northern England March 15, 2014. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

Man City’s Manuel Pellegrini says Vincent Kompany is an important player

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini defends team captain and talks about team's injuries ahead of clash with Sunderland at home on Wednesday night.

 Supporters of China during the Asian Cup Qualifier match between Iraq vs China at Sharjah football stadium in Sharjah. Iraq won the match by 3-1. Pawan Singh / The National

Asian Cup expanding to 24 football teams in 2019

As part of a regional shake-up, the 2019 Asian Cup will climb to 24 teams but next month’s Challenge Cup in the Maldives will be the last, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced.

 Latifa Ali Al Shamsi of UAE fights compatriot Boshra Ghanem Al Zadjali in their 38.5kg match at the Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Christopher Pike / The National

Competitors at Abu Dhabi Junior World Jiu-Jitsu Championship target world domination

All of Wednesday’s winners at the tournament, being held in the UAE capital, are ambitious enough to target a black belt and reach the pinnacle of the sport, Amith Passela reports.

 Jacques Kallis top-scored with 72 for Kolkata Knight Riders against Mumbai Indians at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. Pawan Singh / The National

Kallis kicks off IPL 7 with fifty as Kolkata thrash Mumbai

South African legend shows class is permanent as Knight Riders beat defending champions by 41 runs. Osman Samiuddin reports from Abu Dhabi.

 Amir Khan, during a workout at the Gloves Community Centre on March 24, 2014 in Bolton, England, says his fight will be the real main event in Las Vegas on May 3. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Amir Khan says bout with Luis Collazo ‘will steal the show’ in Las Vegas on May 3

British-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan says his fight with Luis Collazo will be the main attraction on same fight card led by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Marcos Maidana, writes Omar Al Raisi.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National