Anatomy of a record: Detroit’s history-making home winning streak

3 Comments

Tonight on NBC Sports Network (7:30pm ET), the Detroit Red Wings will host the St. Louis Blues at Joe Louis Arena.

It’s a fairly crucial game for the Wings in terms of Central Division jockeying — they’re just one point up on the Blues for first place — but also in terms of history. Detroit has won 16 straight home games and is now just four away from tying the NHL’s all-time mark of 20.

Let’s take a look at the past and future of the streak.

Looking Back

– The streak began with a 5-0 win over Anaheim on Nov. 5.

— The last time Detroit lost at home, Jay-Z and Beyonce weren’t parents and Kim Jong-il was the supreme leader of North Korea.

— The previous franchise best (14-game winning streak) was set 47 years ago by the famous Detroit team led by Gordie Howe, Norm Ullman, Alex Delvecchio and Roger Crozier.

— It was broken last Monday.

– During the streak, the Wings have scored five goals or more eight times, including a 7-1 romp over Winnipeg, an 8-2 destruction of Los Angeles and a 5-0 whipping of Buffalo.

— The 16-game winning streak is the fourth-longest in NHL history.

— Only the 1929-30 Boston Bruins and 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers (20 each), and the 1970-71 Bruins (19) had longer ones.

Top Performers

— Jimmy Howard has been the goalie of record for all 16 wins.

— Detroit has seven players in the NHL’s top 20 for home plus/minus: Nicklas Lidstrom (1st, +24), Ian White (3rd, +23), Valtteri Filppula (7th, +19), Johan Franzen (13th, +17), Brad Stuart (16th, +15), Drew Miller (18th, +13) and Jiri Hudler (20th, +13).

— Detroit doesn’t have a minus player at home this year.

— Pavel Datsyuk is second in the NHL for assists at home (21).

Looking ahead

Detroit hosts St. Louis tonight, then heads out on a five-game road trip to Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton and Phoenix. That’s followed by a six-game homestand at the Joe.

— Should the Wings get by the Blues tonight, they’ll have to wait until Feb. 8 (vs. Edmonton) to try for another home win.

— Assuming Detroit keeps winning at home, the projected date for the record-tying 20th victory is Sunday, Feb. 12 versus Philadelphia.

— The potential record-breaking opportunity would come two nights later, Feb. 14, against Dallas.

Video: Connor McDavid shows off speed and skill (again)

Leave a comment

Connor McDavid‘s 26th goal of 2016-17 was a lot like many others: an impressive display of skill and speed. He didn’t blaze past the Anaheim Ducks like has against opponents on other occasions, but his rare wheels still came in handy.

Maybe more than sheer speed, this tally is a reminder that McDavid could do impressive things while losing little or no momentum. It’s one thing to have straight-line speed, but he has the hands and hockey IQ to take advantage of his swift skating.

McDavid already has two points in this one, pushing him to 84 points. He also extended his point streak to five games (three goals, six assists if he stays at one of each on Wednesday).

Islanders grab precious points by beating Rangers

1 Comment

The goal posts might move from time to time – now they’re chasing the Boston Bruins more than the Toronto Maple Leafs – but the bottom line is that the New York Islanders need to get it done to make the playoffs.

They still have some climbing to do, but Wednesday represented a step in the right direction with a tough 3-2 win against the New York Rangers.

The Rangers built 1-0 and 2-1 leads in the second period as John Tavares struggled with a “hat trick” of penalties, but Tavares & Co. wouldn’t give up. They managed two power-play goals in the third (one by Nikolay Kulemin, the winner by Andrew Ladd) to turn things around for a significant win.

Anders Lee was also a big part of the win, grabbing a goal and an assist. The biggest difference-maker may very well have been Thomas Greiss, who stopped 34 of 36 shots (including all 11 in the third) as the Rangers created a lot of offense.

The Islanders now have 80 standings points, placing them two behind the Bruins for the East’s final wild card spot.

The Rangers’ hold over the first wild card seems quite secure, but they do have to worry ever so slightly about their play at home. With this defeat, they’ve now lost seven straight (0-5-2) at Madison Square Garden.

Video: Rick Nash scores 20th goal in sprawling style

1 Comment

Rick Nash has his critics stemming from his playoff struggles in the past, but for those who support him, moments like these are satisfying.

Why? Because you’d be absurd to discredit how hard he tries when Nash scores goals like he did for the New York Rangers against the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

Nash went all-out for his 20th goal of the season, sprawling after scoring against Thomas Greiss. It’s quite a sight, and Getty Images really was on top of that one.

via Getty Images

The Rangers may need more from him tonight, however, as the Islanders just went up 3-2. Watch the remainder of the contest on NBCSN.

Leafs pass Bruins for third in Atlantic after gutsy win against Columbus

Getty
1 Comment

It wasn’t pretty – especially if you’re disgusted by that Roman Polak hit – but the Toronto Maple Leafs keep generating big wins as a playoff return looks increasingly likely.

Toronto managed a 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday, passing the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division:

Maple Leafs: 83 points in 72 games
Bruins: 82 points in 73 games

This leaves the currently in-action New York Islanders four points behind the Bruins for the final wild card in the East.

The Maple Leafs aren’t just grabbing key points; they’re doing so against some strong opponents who’ve had plenty on the line, too. They beat a Metro contender in Columbus tonight, the Bruins on Monday, grabbed an OT point against Chicago on Saturday and handled the desperate Lightning last Thursday.

This game was all about William Nylander‘s brilliant start:

And also Toronto surviving a long penalty kill after that Polak hit:

Nazem Kadri‘s 30th goal really put the game out of reach, helping Toronto nab a significant victory.

The Blue Jackets can wallow in this defeat and Oliver Bjorkstrand‘s injury, either, as they turn around to face the Washington Capitals in a big one tomorrow.