One Minute Remaining: Streaking Toward History
This has been a season of sports streaks, with the Blackhawks setting two and aiming for another NHL mark.
The Hawks went 24 games to start a campaign without a regulation loss, earning at least a point in every contest. Ray Emery became the first NHL goalie to start a season with 12 straight victories.
Now the Hawks have a chance to set a new NHL mark for most points in a 48-game season—the previous high belongs to Boston, who recorded 74 points in 1938-39 on their way to the Stanley Cup. The last regular 48-game schedule was in 1941-42, although the labor-shortened campaign of 1994-95 saw Detroit rack up 70 points in 48 contests.
Reviewing the streaks that the four previous Chicago Stanley Cup winners enjoyed takes us back to 1933-34. That squad wound up 20-17-11 with a second-place finish in the American Division, and their longest string of wins was seven games (4-0-3). The Hawks were paced by goalie Charlie Gardiner, who beat both Montreal teams in the NHL back then (Canadiens and Maroons) before the team defeated Detroit for the Cup with a dramatic overtime goal in Game 4 of the best-of-five series.
The 1938 champions remain the only NHL team to claim the Cup with a losing regular-season record (14-25-9), doing so with a roster that boasted eight American-born players. They had just one modest three-game win streak. In the playoffs, they knocked off Montreal, then New York. In meeting the favored Maple Leafs for the finals, they had to use minor-league goalie Alfie Moore in the opener. Chicago won that game 3-1 and grabbed the Cup by winning the best-of-five series 3-1.
The 1960-61 winners were paced by Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Pierre Pilote and goalie Glenn Hall. They posted a 29-24-17 mark and had a seven-game win streak. In the playoffs, they upset the Canadiens in the semis as Hall shutout Montreal in the last two games and then dispatched Detroit in the finals.
The 2010 Cup champions set a franchise regular-season mark with 112 points in the standings (52-22-8) and enjoyed an eight-game win streak during the campaign. The playoff run saw the Hawks oust Nashville, Vancouver and then sweep San Jose before Patrick Kane's dramatic overtime goal in Philadelphia brought the Cup back to Chicago for the first time in 49 years.
With a record-breaking streak to start the season, the Hawks hope to carry momentum into the playoffs and bring the Cup back to their loyal fans!