The Chicago Blackhawks are having one of ‘those’ seasons in the National Hockey League where seemingly everything goes their way. Dating back to last season, the ‘Hawks have now scored at least one point in 28 consecutive games and have done for 22 straight to start this season.
‘Those’ seasons I’m referring to are ones that only a handful of teams in professional and collegiate sports have. The Detroit Tigers in 1984 started 35-5 and you just had a feeling it would end magically. Most of you can recall the 72-win Chicago Bulls who never looked back all season and of course in football you have teams like the 1985 Bears who despite one loss were destined for greatness.
These current Chicago Blackhawks appear to be another one of those teams that just seem destined for bigger and better things.
- Howard was exceptional in goal for the Wings despite being bested by the Blackhawks.
Sunday afternoon they finally appeared to have reached their Waterloo. Tied at 0-0 in the middle of the 3rd period, the Red Wings scored on Tomas Tatar’s goal which looked insurmountable with the way goalie Jimmy Howard was playing. As is usual with good teams playing well, the breaks sometimes happen for them and Chicago got a huge one with less than 3 minutes left when the Wings Jonathan Ericsson flipped a puck into the stands from his own end while attempting to clear it. That’s two-minutes for delay of game and within just a few seconds the Hawks’ had a game-tying goal on the power play from Patrick Kane.
It was a bone-headed move to say the least by Ericsson to say the least. You just can’t give any team, let alone the hottest in hockey a power play in the closing minutes of a one goal game. Obviously, the Blackhawks will gladly take it.
The teams headed to a shootout where Kane again struck but this time with a game-winning wrister past Howard. And the streak lived on…
I can’t say the Blackhawks are a shoo-in to be a Cup winner or even finalist in this lockout-shortened season but Sunday was just another example of how they find ways to gain not only points but victories as well. Chicago has all the makings of being one of ‘those’ teams.
Games this week for your wagering enjoyment
Colorado at Detroit – Once one of the great rivalries in hockey, this one has lost some luster but the significance of this game is no less important. The Wings are in the eight spot with 24 points. The Avs are in the 13th spot just four points behind Detroit. Get the picture? Colorado has just two wins on the road. Take the Wings.
Minnesota at Chicago – The Wild are one of five times deadlocked with 24 points. That’s good for 6th in the Western Conference right now. Chicago returns to the ice for the first time since beating Detroit. Until proven otherwise, go with Chicago who is 9-0-1 at home.
Pittsburgh at Philadelphia – Wish I knew what Dan Bylsma was doing with his goalies. Seems to me that Marc-Andre Fleury is not in goal enough for the Pens. Philly is currently 8th in the East and has to play a Penguins team that has nine road wins. It’s a great rivalry, but take Pittsburgh on the road.
Buffalo at New Jersey – As of this writing, the Devils have dropped four in a row but is still sitting in the 7th spot in the East. Buffalo is out of playoff contention at the current time and has already made a coaching change. I have to think New Jersey rights the ship in this one.