Feb 24, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defensemanDuncan Keith
(2) with the puck during the first period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
The Hawks returned home to a minor hiccup against the fellow Western Conference elite, with a 3-2 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks. The resilient Hawks quickly returned to their winning ways, by following the shootout loss to the Ducks, with victories over the Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks.
The Hawks record now stood at 12-0-3, leaving them 1 win or over time loss away from tying the NHL record for most consecutive games with at least a point earned, to start the season. The only thing that stood in the way was the Vancouver Canucks, who the Hawks would go on to beat in nail-biter fashion, in the shootout 4-3. With the victory, the Hawks tied the previously mentioned record, set by the 2006-2007 Anaheim Ducks. If the Hawks were to earn a point in the next game, against the San Jose Sharks, the record would be their own. Once again, the Hawks with their flair for the dramatics, and not one for the faint of heart, defeated the Sharks, in a close contest by a score of 2-1. The record for consecutive games with at least a point earned to start a season, was now 17 games, and held by the 2013 Chicago Blackhawks. It would turn out to be only an appetizer to what would go down as a season for the ages.
A victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets brought the Hawks’ streak to 18 games, and it went up to 19 games, in Marian Hossa‘s 1,000th career game, which ended in victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The next victim of Blackhawk dominance would be the Minnesota Wild, as the Hawks streak was now at 20 games, as well as a new franchise record for 10 straight wins.
The Colorado Avalanche would travel to the Windy City to fall to the Hawks, in what would wrap-up the first half of the shortened season, where the Hawks dominated with a 21-0-3 record. The Hawks streak was now at 24 games, as they recorded their 11th win in a row. However, all good things must come to an end.
Two nights later, the Hawks traveled to Denver, to take on the very same Avalanche team that they had just played, at the United Center. Things would not go as smoothly, as the Avalanche would blowout the Blackhawks, by a score of 6-2, thus ending the amazing streak.
To wrap up the historic streak, the Hawks went 24 games with at least a point to start the season, an NHL record. The Hawks had gone 30 games with at least a point, dating back to last season.
The Hawks’ players were somewhat relieved to see the streak come to an end. No, no one ever wants to lose, but the media frenzy was getting out of control, and was adding insane amounts of pressure to the team.
It would be too much to ask of the Hawks to repeat the success of the first-half of the season, in the second-half. As long as the Hawks played solid hockey from here on out, the playoffs were all but a sure thing.