By now we all know the magnificent point streak (or no regulation losses) of 24 games came to an end the other day, with the Chicago Blackhawks losing a heartbreaking game to the Colorado Avalanche. This amazing and legendary accomplishment, came close to the jaw-dropping point streak of the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers. Chicago kept this streak alive against Western Conference teams for half a season, but could they have done it if they played their original schedule, before the lockout which ended in January?
With not regularly facing any Eastern teams, they wouldn’t have known what to expect. Now, obviously there are game tapes and game reports, but overall, playing the same teams over and over is much easier then playing a regular schedule with an Eastern team thrown in every once in a while. They would have been bound to lose, the Eastern Conference has some strong teams, and there seems to be one team that would be destined to do it–the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Marc-Andre Fleury…this would have been a game a to see. It seems that Crosby has done everything in his career, except end a streak with this high importance to brag about.
Now, Pittsburgh could have lost as well to the Blackhawks, but it just seems inevitable that Chicago would have lost to an Eastern team. In 2011-2012, their first loss against an Eastern team came against Carolina Hurricanes in a 3-0 shutout loss. Looking at the 2011-2012 schedule, their wins against East teams were pretty even, except, they did lose before they hit the 24 point streak.
I am not knocking anything about Chicago at all, I was at the edge of my seat watching to see if they could keep the streak going, but their schedule this year had me thinking about their point streak. I am simply wondering what would have happened this year, had there not been a lockout from the start of the season.
All in all, Chicago still had a 24 point streak, and it doesn’t matter who they played, they still did it. We can’t take anything away from them for what they have achieved. No, I don’t think they could have beaten an Eastern team in 24 games to keep the streak going, but that doesn’t mean they could not have done it. This season has already been a crazy one in itself, and Chicago did something that we won’t see for a while, and that itself, is a success.