Avalanche of Goals Buries Blackhawk Point Streak
Now that history has been made, the Chicago Blackhawks can return to business at hand.
Much has been written about how amazing their run has been, and the Blackhawks deserve every accolade. But now that the streak has ended at 24 with Colorado's 6-2 victory in Denver last night, the focus returns to what Chicago has known all along.
Nothing is settled in the Western Conference, depsite their blazing beginning to the season.
Overshadowed in Chicago's start was the fact that Anaheim's Ducks have also been slightly short of amazing. As of this writing, Anaheim is only eight points behind the Blackhawks with two games in hand. Chicago's sustained success to start the season has been legendary, but Anaheim has still been the surprise of this lockout-abbreviated campaign. Like the Blackhawks, the Ducks have been at it long enough this year to confirm they're not a fluke.
Total intensity has been the predominant theme in this season's race to the playoffs, as a 48-game schedule is close to a playoff race in its own right. St Louis remains strong, and many still believe the Blues are the favorites to come out of the West to challenge for the Stanley Cup. Detroit has reloaded and unleased Swiss forward Damien Brunner on the league in the process. Vancouver's scoring machine is idling, but the Canucks' potency and top-flight goaltending duo are capable of firing on all cylinders at any time, and doing so in the playoffs wouldn't shock anyone. Especially the Los Angeles Kings, who did just that to become the current Cup holders.
Of course, to keep things in perspective, the Blackhawks need to look no further than the team whose record they broke: the 1979-1980 Philadephia Flyers. While some of its stars, like Bobby Clarke, appreciate what Chicago has done, that club also provides the obvious lesson: the only win that really counts in the last one.
Just ask that season's New York Islanders.