Toews 2

Blackhawks win…again; extend historical streak


The Chicago Blackhawks hit the midway point of their truncated 2013 season on Wednesday.

They have still yet to lose in regulation, 24 games into their schedule. On Wednesday, they defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-2, thanks to a goal from Dan Carcillo with 50 seconds remaining in the third period. Earlier in the period, Jonathan Toews scored short-handed to tie the game at 2-2.

That’s now 11 wins in a row, in case people have started to lose count. The Blackhawks’ undefeated streak dating back to last March is now at 30 games, and closing in on the NHL record of 35 games without a regulation loss held by the Philadelphia Flyers from 1979-80.

Chicago’s record now stands at 21-0-3.

And they defeated the Avalanche without the services of 34-year-old winger Marian Hossa, who was scratched from the line-up with an upper-body injury.

Prior to Wednesday’s game, Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville appeared on the Dan Patrick Show to talk about his team’s current streak and everything it encompasses.

There is even a debate about which streak – the Blackhawks’ now 24 games without a regulation loss to begin the season or the NBA’s Miami Heat’s 15 wins in a row – is better. Again, we ask: ‘Hawks or Heat: Who ya got?

There’s ‘a real positive vibe’ in Buffalo, where Eichel will make NHL debut tonight

Connor McDavid
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Jack Eichel didn’t disappoint in the preseason, finishing with six points in four games, including two shorthanded goals.

Tonight in Buffalo, his NHL career will start for real when the Sabres host the Ottawa Senators in regular-season action.

“It’s something I’ve dreamed of my whole life, stepping foot on that ice and making the NHL,” Eichel said, per “It’s kind of been a whirlwind, but you’re finally playing hockey for a living and everything you’ve done your whole life is to get to this point. It’s pretty special.”

The 18-year-old’s debut was front-page news this morning in Buffalo, where the Sabres have been among the NHL’s worst teams since last making the playoffs in 2010-11.

Eichel front page

Granted, even with the additions of Eichel, Ryan O'Reilly, Evander Kane, Robin Lehner and Cody Franson, expectations for 2015-16 remain modest for the new-look Sabres. Certainly, a spot in the playoffs would count as a surprise.

But for the fans of a team that’s barely possessed the puck the past couple of years, it’s night and day.

“People are excited,” GM Tim Murray said earlier this week. “It’s great. They think we’ve improved, and there’s a real positive vibe, I believe.

“That’s what I said to our coaches, ‘I want everybody to be positive. I’m the only guy in the organization allowed to be negative.’ That’s the way I wanted it. If I’m the most negative guy in the city about the team, that’s pretty good.”

Sutter: Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

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Lost in the various controversies (see here and here) of last night’s game in Los Angeles was a pretty dismal performance by the Kings, a team that should’ve been especially motivated to start the season after missing the playoffs last year.

The Kings were hammered, 5-1, by the visiting Sharks. They were outshot, 32-20.

“If you don’t check, you don’t have the puck enough,” said Kings head coach Darryl Sutter. “If you don’t have the puck enough, you can’t score.”

“We were pretty sloppy. Sloppy on our rushes, sloppy in our D-zone,” said forward Dustin Brown. “That’s probably most of it, but the other part is compete – in the corners and making hard plays coming out of our zone, going in. We didn’t play very well.”

Obviously, much credit has to go to the Sharks. Like the Kings, they missed the playoffs last year and came into 2015-16 looking for redemption. But the Sharks haven’t won two Stanley Cups in the last four years, and they weren’t the home team.

“Gotta check,” said Sutter. “You don’t check, you can’t score. We had a lot of guys, especially top guys that weren’t interested in that part of the game.”

The Kings get a visit from the Arizona Coyotes on Friday. If they don’t dominate that team…