February 19, 2013
One more win, and the 'Hawks make history.
That'll be the story on Tuesday in Chicago, as the Blackhawks take on the Canucks with a special mark in their sights — 16 games to start a season without a regulation loss.
Chicago is 12-0-3 thus far and one of just three teams in NHL history to start the season by getting points in each of the first 15 games of the year.
One was the 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers, who had their streak stop at 15 — the other was the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks, who ran their streak to 16 before finally suffering a regulation loss.
The 'Hawks can match the Ducks' mark tomorrow evening, but apparently aren't focusing on it.
"What's important to us is getting home-ice advantage, making the playoffs," Chicago captain Jonathan Toews said (as per the Associated Press). "Those are our goals. Once you get there, the real season starts.
"When you get to that point, no one really cares or remembers those streaks at the start of the season."
That said, Toews might want to take a closer look at the 2006-07 season.
Anaheim's red-hot start paved the way for a dominant campaign. The team won its first-ever Pacific Division crown on the strength of a 48-20-14 season (110 points, the most in franchise history), then blew through the playoffs, going 16-5 en route to its first Stanley Cup championship.
Toews also might want to look at the '84-85 Oilers. After starting the year 12-0-3, they went on to win the Stanley Cup with a 4-1 series win over the Philadelphia Flyers.