Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Dismissing the Red Wings record home winning streak as not "pure" isn't fair

The Red Wings will be going for their 21st straight home victory tonight against Dallas, which would break the NHL record. They currently share the record with the 1930 Boston Bruins and 1976 Philadelphia Flyers at 20. The Flyers record is considered somehow more "pure" by many because there was no overtime, nor shootout rule, at the time. The Flyers won all 20 of those games in regulation time. There was overtime during the regular season in 1930, and a couple of the Bruins' wins during the streak were in overtime. There was no shootout that season.
To some, this has tainted the Red Wings' share of the current record, or if they were to break it tonight.
I don't feel that way.
The fact it has only been twice in league history makes it an incredible accomplishment. Secondly, it has not been done since overtime was brought back to the NHL in the 1983-84 season. Nor since the shootout was added in 2005-06.
The Flyers were a great team coming off back-to-back Stanley Cup titles, but the separation between the best and the worst teams was much wider then. The Red Wings won their 19th straight at home Friday night in a shootout over an Anaheim team that, while ranked near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, has the reigning Hart Trophy winner in Corey Perry, a future Hall of Famer in Teemu Selanne, a solid goalie in Jonas Hiller - and other stars such as Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf and Farmington's Cam Fowler.
Although there were only NHL 18 teams back then, the talent base was still thinner. The college feeder program wasn't nearly as developed. There were few Europeans in the league. Americans, for that matter. The NHL was watered down because of the WHA, which robbed teh NHL of many of the top players. It was just a much different game. It is far more difficult to dominate during this era.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat, were the Flyers wins 20 staright wins with no ties in the middle? just curious I agree forget the asterick, look at the parity in the the league now. I don't see this record being broken again for at least 36 yrs

1:27 PM 
Anonymous spence said...

In my opinion having overtime makes it harder. The other team has just a much of a chance to win in sudden death. Sure I don't like the shootout but going 7-1 in the shootout isn't an easy task. Lastly even if it isn't pure, it is still very impressive and if it wasn't why hasn't any other teams matched the feat.

1:32 PM 

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