The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Colorado Avalanche Wednesday night to remain undefeated in regulation for the 24th straight game, and are currently the toast of the National Hockey League.
If you don’t count losses in shootouts (and you shouldn’t) the Hawks have already secured the record for longest undefeated streak to start a season, and are closing in on several other prestigious NHL records, including most regular-season games without a regulation loss. That said, what happens if from here on out, they totally tank it- just crap the bed completely?
Well, if that happens- here are three of the NHL’s most embarrassing records that are still within the Blackhawks’ grasp:
1) Longest Losing Streak:
The most pathetic record in hockey is currently shared by two teams, the 1974-’75 Washington Capitals and the 1992-’93 San Jose Sharks, who both lost a jaw-dropping 17 games in a row. Now sure, it’s UNLIKELY that the Blackhawks would do that, but still, they entered Wednesday’s game with star forward Marion Hossa out with an upper body injury, and also lost solid winger Patrick Sharp to a bum shoulder. With 24 games left in Chicago’s lockout-shortened schedule, they wouldn’t even have to start losing until they play Los Angeles on on March 25th! And the beautiful thing about that is, with the start they’ve had, they could drop their final 18 games, and still possibly squeak into the playoffs.
2)Most Games Shut Out: Single Season:
In the 1928-’29 season, one exceptionally pathetic NHL club was shut out a stunning 20 times, including 8 games in a row where they didn’t score a single goal. The name of that team? The Chicago Blackhawks. Again, the odds that something like this would happen to the current squad are LONG, but then again, in order to squeak out a win in Wednesday’s game against the Avalanche, they had to rely on universally reviled goon Daniel Carcillo to pop in the game winner in the final minute. If all of a sudden, this team decides to rely on a guy with a total of seven goals over the past three seasons for it’s scoring, they might find themselves shut out of more than a few contests down the line.
3) Most Consecutive Goals Against In A Single Game:
One of the most shameful records in NHL history belongs to the New York Rangers, who had two touchdowns, an extra point, and a two point conversion hung on them when the Detroit Red Wings rag-dolled them 15-0 in January of 1944. Could these Blackhawks get beaten 16-0? Hey, there’s 24 games left, and while Chicago’s backup goalie Ray Emery has been great lately, he’s a guy who has had trouble with consistency in the past. Who knows?
Finally, and let’s remember, these aren’t predictions, they’re just technically possible, so that doesn’t mean I think they will happen.
I just really, really hope so.
And if any of them do?
Remember- ya heard it here first.
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