Earlier tonight, the Chicago Blackhawks’ record setting streak was halted at 24 straight games without a regulation loss, and 11 straight victories. What team finally stopped the seemingly unstoppable Hawks? The Colorado Avalanche, a team that is separated in the standings by 13 spots and 25 points.
The Blackhawks have been teetering over the last few games, having lost some players to injuries, most recently Patrick Sharp. They came into Colorado, playing the second of back to back games against a Avs squad that has had no short supply of drama recently, with the Ryan O’Reilly contract saga.
Jonathan Toews scored in the 6th minute to give the Hawks an early boost, but the Avs’ Paul Stasny tied it up with a power play tally on a Brian Bickell penalty. The Avalanche never looked back, adding goals from Matt Duchene, John Mitchell, O’Reilly, and Jamie McGinn, jumping out to a commanding 5-1 lead.
Corey Crawford looked utterly beatable in this game, allowing 4 goals on 8 shots in the second period., and the Hawks handed 4 penalties to the Avs, including a tripping call on Crawford.
Here’s some numbers from the streak:
In 24 games, the Hawks scored an average of 3.1 goals per game, good for 4th overall in the league. They allowed an average of 1.8 goals per game, good for 1st overall. Also of note, their penalty kill, up until tonight’s 2 for 4 performance, ranked 2nd overall, with an 89%. They were equally good on the road as they were at the United Center during the streak, earning an 11-0-1 record at home, and going 10-0-2 record on the road.
Interesting fun facts: The team that owns the longest streak without a regulation loss is the 1979-1980s Flyers. They did not win the Stanley Cup in the end, losing to an Islanders squad in the Finals. The Isles roster featured Mike Bossy, Denis Potvin, and Bryan Trottier. The Hawks sit between the 79-80 Flyers and the 77-78 Montreal Canadiens, with a roster that featured Larry Robinson, Ken Dryden, Guy LaFleur, among others, who did ultimately win Lord Stanley’s silver chalice.