The 2013 Chicago Blackhawks are gaining ground on the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers.
The Blackhawks have gone 24 games without a regulation loss to begin the regular season, and dating back to last March, have gone 30 games without a regulation loss. The Blackhawks are now five back of the record – held by the aforementioned Flyers – as they visit the Colorado Avalanche tonight.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, who played for Philadelphia in those record-setting days, can’t help but be amazed at what the Blackhawks are doing.
“It’s probably a more difficult task now because of the parity in the League,” Holmgren told NHL.com.
“There were teams [in 1979-80] that weren’t great. The parity in the League today makes it very difficult to do what they’re doing and makes it more incredible than anything.
“It’s a different era. I think what they’ve done … it’s a more difficult thing to do today.”
Even more difficult, perhaps, given the injury situation in Chicago.
Patrick Sharp will be out of the Blackhawks lineup for three to four weeks with a separated shoulder.
Marian Hossa, who was a late scratch in Wednesday’s game against Colorado, will be back in the lineup tonight, amid speculation he was held out of the game with a concussion.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: