One of NHL’s great recent rivalries will be renewed tomorrow night when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Vancouver Canucks, but there’s plenty more on the line than just the usual when these two Western Conference powerhouses collide in the regular season.
As long as the Hawks don’t lose to Vancouver in regulation, they’ll be in the NHL record book, equaling the best start ever in league history going 16 games without a loss in regulation.
In 2006-07 the Anaheim Ducks set the standard by starting the season 12-0-4. The Ducks won the Pacific Division and went on to win the organization’s lone Stanley Cup.
You know Blackhawk fans would like nothing better than for history to repeat itself.
Their beloved team has won four Cups, but just one (2009-10) since 1960-61, and if the current Hawks finish the season like they’ve started it, they’ll be raising Lord Stanley’s prize yet again.
The 2013 Blackhawks are an amazing 12-0-3, having not lost a game yet in regulation and earning 27 points out of a possible 30 in this lockout-shortened season.
Other than Anaheim, the only other NHL team besides the Blackhawks in recent memory to go undefeated in regulation in their first 15 games was the 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers, who were also 12-0-3 and like the Ducks went on to win the Stanley Cup.
Perhaps making Chicago’s current run even more phenomenal is the fact that 10 of its first 12 games were on the road.
When analyzing it, it’s easy to see why the Blackhawks are off to such a torrid start. They’re tied for second in the NHL in goals (3.33 per game), second in goals against (1.87), sixth in penalties (12.2 minutes per game) and third in penalty kill (89.1 percent).
If Chicago continues playing like it has been and avoids injuries, expect the wins to keep piling up.
You know Hawks Nation is loving every minute of their teams winning ways and so, too, is everyone in the Hawk organization.
However, after Sunday’s 3-2 win over visiting Los Angeles star Patrick Kane, who is currently tied for second in the league with 21 points, warned it’s still very early in the season, there’s a lot of hockey to be played and his Blackhawk team hasn’t really done anything yet. That can change tomorrow night though as the sellout United Center crowd would like nothing better than to be singing “Chelsea Dagger” yet again, signifying another Blackhawk victory and a place in history.