If realignment becomes a reality, the Detroit Red Wings won’t be able to spoil the Chicago Blackhawks’ fun much longer.
This time around, the Red Wings hope to end two Blackhawks’ streaks for games with at least a point: 21 (to begin the 2013 campaign) and 27 (extending back to the 2011-12 regular season).
While Chicago needs to extend its point streak by eight games to tie the all-time mark of 35 by the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit could keep them from tying the 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens’ second place streak of 28 games by beating the ‘Hawks in regulation on Sunday.
The veteran-heavy squad has had a knack for spoiling their younger division rival’s fun in recent years, too. Detroit knocked Chicago out of the 2009 Western Conference finals in five games and thwarted the Blackhawks attempt to clinch a playoff spot on the last day of the 2010-11 season.*
Red Wings can relate
Instead of providing bulletin board material, the Red Wings have been complimentary of the Blackhawks.
Head coach Mike Babcock described Chicago’s defense as the best in the league “by far” to NHL.com’s Brian Hedger. Meanwhile, Henrik Zetterberg told the Detroit Free Press that Chicago’s streak reminds him of the Red Wings setting an NHL record with 23-straight home wins last season.
” … I think it’s a little different, but at the same time, when we broke the record we know how we felt,” Zetterberg said. “They are breaking records every night now. Hopefully it will end tomorrow and if it does they had a good run.”
Hossa hits 1,000
Sunday’s game will mark an individual milestone as well. Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa will play in his 1,000th regular season contest. The 34-year-old told CSNChicago.com that he isn’t nearing the end of the road, either.
“When I was younger, when someone got to their 1,000th game, I thought about what a great accomplishment it was. I also thought, ‘Those guys are going to retire pretty soon.’ Now I’m coming to that point,” Hossa said. “But so far I feel pretty good. So hopefully I can play many more years.”
Patrick Kane, for one, wouldn’t mind if that’s true.
“Even today, there are times, probably once or twice a game, I’m shaking my head at what he does,” Kane said. “He’s a very exciting player and he’s still at the top of his game.”
You can watch Hossa, Kane and the red-hot Blackhawks visit the Red Wings in Detroit on Sunday by tuning into NBC starting at 12:30 p.m. ET.
* – Only to see the Blackhawks make the playoffs because the Dallas Stars lost to the Minnesota Wild later that evening, anyway.