There are two current streaks taking place in two of the four major professional sports right now in the United States. In hockey, the Chicago Blackhawks have won 11 straight games but that isn’t the record we’re talking about. They have now recorded a point in 24 straight games to open the season which is a National Hockey League record.
The Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association have won 16 straight games which is obviously impressive but isn’t even the longest streak of the NBA season. The Los Angeles Clippers won 17-straight earlier this season.
The issue of streaks in professional sports is always an interesting one and probably more so with individual-type streaks such as Cal Ripken, Jr or Joe DiMaggio but I find team streaks to be slightly more interesting for a couple of different reasons.
First of all, team streaks require more than one individual to be involved in order to keep the streak alive. Wednesday night in Orlando for example, the Heat were taken to the very limit before LeBron James hit a game-winning lay-up on a night where the Heat really didn’t have their best stuff.
The Blackhawks recently trailed Detroit late in the third but were saved by Patrick Kane who scored late and then had the game-winner in the shootout.
In both cases however, the Heat and Blackhawks needed a little luck for things to go right. Chicago’s game-tying goal was set up on a rare delay of game penalty against Detroit. The Wings’ Johnathan Ericsson flipped the puck into the crowd from his own zone with about three minutes remaining. In the Heat’s case, they had a foul advantage of 17-30 and two huge calls went their way much to the dismay of the Magic on Wednesday night.
Streaks always need luck to survive and both the Heat and ‘Hawks can openly testify to that.
As for whether you should think about laying money on either of these teams to reach their respective league’s all-time consecutive wins record, I would steer clear. For the Blackhawks, the record for consecutive games with a point is 35 set by the 1979-1980 Philadelphia Flyers who went on a crazy 25-0-10 streak. And for the record, the Flyers lost to the New York Islanders 4-2 in the Stanley Cup Finals that season.
- Wade has been exceptional recently but is it enough to reach 33 wins in a row?
In the case of the Miami Heat, they are chasing the Los Angeles Lakers of 1971-1972 who won 33 consecutive games during that season. Led by Wilt Chamberlain, the Lakers would defeat the New York Knicks 4-1 in the NBA Finals.
Here’s why you should save your money on both of these streaks…
First of all, the Blackhawks have another 11 games to go before tying the Flyers’ mark. They’ve already had several close calls that have relied on luck and just poor play from at opponents at just the right time. Don’t get me wrong. What Chicago is doing is nothing short of amazing and has a ton to do with their talent and depth, but I just can’t see the puck continuing to bounce their way for 11 more games.
In regards to the Heat, Wednesday night was a perfect example of why Miami isn’t going to get to the Lakers’ record of 33 straight wins. They played a tough, but fairly untalented Orlando team and received every break possible and still needed a LeBron lay-up to win. There are too many good teams left on the schedule for the Heat to be thinking of records right now.
Besides, many times with Miami, they’re more apt to lose to a lesser team than a good one anyway because they invest so much in beating their closest competition. In my opinion this is what will happen with Miami. Rather than lose a big game, I expect the Heat to drop one to a team with much less than talent.
In closing, save your money on these streaks.