Thursday, 23 February 2012

Home Streak Burrowed

The one drawback of starting a historical streak is that it will inevitably come to an end at some point. The Detroit Red Wins had strung together 23 straight home wins, breaking the previous record of 20, and hadn't suffered a home loss in three months. All that came to an end tonight, though, as Alex Burrows and the Vancouver Canucks came into Detroit and took two points off the Red Wings. The Red Wings were almost out of this game with their 24th win at home, but some familiar faces changed the fortunes of the Winged Wheels.

With 15.4 seconds remaining in the game,Detroit leading 3-2, and Luongo on the bench for the extra attacker, Daniel Sedin took a pass just inside the blueline, and put the pressure back on Detroit to preserve the streak.

That was a cannon, and Sedin's 28th goal of the season sent this game to the extra time.

The extra frame produced no goals, so it was off to the skills competition. Jiri Hudler was stopped by Roberto Luongo, and Jimmy Howard matched David Booth in his attempt. Henrik Zetterberg ripped Detroit's second attempt wide of the net, and Jimmy Howard produced another save on Alex Edler's attempt. Todd Bertuzzi had Detroit's third attempt, and Roberto Luongo was equal to the task once again. That left Alex Burrows facing off against Howard with the streak on the line.
The backhander over Howard's sprawling body gives Vancouver the two points, and the streak is over at 23 games.

There were a lot of pretty amazing statistics that the Red Wings put together during this 23-game streak. I was quite surprised at some of these numbers.
  • Outscored their opponents 92-34.
  • Scored eight goals in an 8-2 win over the Kings on December 17.
  • Twice won by a margin of six goals, defeating LA and Winnipeg.
  • Defeated sixteen different teams over the 23 games.
  • Defeated four Eastern Conference teams during their streak.
  • Defeated St. Louis three times during the streak.
  • Only Vancouver and Minnesota were not defeated from the West.
  • Pacific Division was outscored 34-12.
  • Northwest Division was outscored 17-7.
  • Central Division was outscored 21-9.
  • Eastern Conference was outscored 20-6.
  • Four shutouts recorded during the streak.
  • Four games were won by shootout.
  • One game was won in overtime.
Again, those are some incredible numbers. While I felt that Detroit didn't play particularly well in this game against Vancouver, they almost made it out with the two points. Had it not been for Sedin and Burrows, we might be looking at Colorado as the streak breakers. Wings head coach Mike Babcock took nothing away from the Canucks, though.

"In the end you can't tempt fate like that," Babcock said. "They played longer than we did and in the end they won the game so I give them full marks."

When asked about the significance of the streak and the history made, Babcock was candid and honest. "It’s beyond impressive," he said. "I don't care what era and I'm not comparing it to anything. It's a real good run for the Red Wings and we're real thrilled to have done it. It's set us up to be in a real good situation playoff-wise now we've got to get back to skating."

I have to agree with Mike Babcock in that the streak was pretty impressive. The Wings will play Colorado on Saturday in an attempt to start a new streak. The Avalanche will get a chance to face former teammate Kyle Quincey as the Wings welcome Colorado to town.

Quincey was picked up by the Wings from Tampa Bay in exchange for defenceman Sebastien Piche and a first-round draft pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Minutes earlier, Tampa Bay had acquired Quincey from the Avalanche for forward Steve Downie. Both players are expected to be in the lineup on Saturday night! And it should be a beauty of a game between these two Western Conference teams!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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