Caps Snap Jackets' Streak at 16

Published on 06-Jan-2017 by J Square Humboldt
NHL / NHL Daily Update

Justin Williams is alive and well.

Make no mistake: winning that many games in a row is impressive, no matter what the game.

But there's a noticeable element in the Columbus Blue Jackets' accomplishment.

Only two of their triumphs were against fellow Metropolitan Division denizens, and one of those was the cellar-dwelling Islanders.

Granted, whacking Pittsburgh was an achievement. But if the Jackets were to challenge the Penguins' record of 17 straight, they'd have to do it in DC against the always-dangerous Washington Capitals.

Didn't happen.

The Met's where Eastern Conference power resides, and after all that winning, Columbus stands atop the division.

But not by much:

NHL Metropolitan Division standings

This isn't to say the Jackets didn't play strong teams during their ride:

  • Minnesota, for example, was on a 12-game skein until John Tortorella's crew put paid to that; and
  • Edging Atlantic-leading Montréal, 2-1, at home was a worthy accomplishment in itself.

What is promising is Columbus accomplished all this with a roster that intersperses young talent with lunch-bucket grinders who have a strong work ethic.

The Penguins did 17 in a row by sending the likes of Mario Lemieux, Jaromír Jágr, Ron Francis, Kevin Stevens, and a cast of capable blueliners over the boards. Those dudes came on in waves.

Coming up next for Columbus are three division rivals: hosting the Rangers and Flyers in a back-to-backer this weekend, and then Carolina in Raleigh.

Three straight four-pointers.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to start another streak right about now.

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