November 3rd 2011. That was the last time the Detroit Red Wings lost at The Joe. It’s not like they have been on some monster road trip and haven’t played much at home. After last night’s 3-1 win over the Blues, Detroit extended their franchise record home winning streak to a mind boggling 17 games. Yes I’m a Red Wing fan, and yes I am smiling as I type this. We now must start talking about the possibility of matching and breaking the record of 20 set by the Boston Bruins in the 1929-30 season, and by Philadelphia in 1976 (yes I realize that the shootout was not existent when those records were set, and the Wings have 4 shootout wins during the streak. If we wanted to discuss whether the record should count or not, this blog would be 20 pages long)
But before we do that, let’s look at the streak as it stands right now because it really can be split into two parts
First 10 Games
The first ten games of this streak were all about offense. The Wings averaged 5.1 goals per game, and only had one game during that span where they scored less than 4. I don’t want to take anything away from their defence or Jimmy Howard (he started all ten games and allowed just 15 goals), but it was a smoke show. They outscored their opponents 51-15, and for you gamblers out there they covered the goal and half puck-line each game and had 7 games go “over” the total.
Last 7 games
These games were a lot tighter. Six of the 7 games saw the Red Wings score 3 goals (and we saw four 3-2 finals). Once again, hats off to Jimmy Howard, allowing just 9 goals and keeping every game under the total.
Alright, so what are the Red Wings chances of matching/breaking the record? Let’s take a look at what they have ahead of them (once they get back from their 5 game road trip).
Game 18 vs. Edmonton- The have faced the Oilers twice this season and won both games. Their match-up in Edmonton was close, but at the Joe, Howard shut them out in a 3-0 win.
Game 19 vs. Anaheim- once again, two match-ups this year, two wins. Their only game in Detroit was actually game #1 of this streak (a 5-0 Detroit win). However, we can’t ignore the fact that the Ducks are playing MUCH better. They have won 8 of their last 9 games and this would be the first of an 8 game road trip for them.
Game 20 vs. Philly- no match-ups this year, but if they want to equal the record, they will have to do it against a Flyer team that won their last meeting with the Wings. That was a 3-2 win in Detroit in their only meeting last season.
Game 21 vs. Dallas- If the streak is still intact, they will look to break it against a Stars team that they are 3-0 against this season. The Wings scored 13 goals during those three games including 5 in their only meeting in Detroit.
If the Wings are going to put themselves into the NHL record book, the hardest part will be equaling it. Game 20 against Philly will be tough. The Flyers have been up and down lately, and we never know what Bryzgalov will show up. As I mentioned, the Wings will be on the road for the next 5 games. However, they are 6-1 in their first game back from a multi-game road trip this season. My money is on a new record.
Let’s head to the Links
So Ovechkin received a 3 gamer for his hit on Zbynek Michalek, or as Shanaban calls it (numerous times) …launching! (NHL)
Ok that’s out of the way, could he skip the All Star Game? (PS, Toews will not play) (Pro hockey Talk)
Michalek had two hearings with Shanaban yesterday, and avoided a suspension (Puck Daddy)
Ken Dryden weights in on the concussion debate (SI)
Speaking on concussions, lost in all the “Where the hell is Tim Thomas” talk yesterday at the White House was an update on Nathan Horton (Days of Y’Orr)
The guys at The Pens Blog take exception to a Larry Brooks article (I guess that’s what I’m saying Brooksy)
Blue Shirt Banter has an update on Ryan McDonagh
Could the NHL have to lend the Devils some cash to keep operating? (The Fourth period)
And since we started this thing talking about the Wings streak…let’s take a look at the highlights