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Sports Authority

Ivey: NHL boasts streak of hot streaks

| Thursday, January 19, 2017

The NFL Conference Championship games will take place this upcoming weekend, and all of the four teams remaining are currently in the middle of win streaks that range from 5 to 9 games dating back to the regular season. But the NFL isn’t the only professional sports league that has witnessed a great number of win streaks this year.

The current NHL season has seen a number of teams go on a hot streak that catapults them near the top of the league standings … until another team gets hot and takes their place.

At the beginning of the season back in October, the hot team was Montreal. After winning their first game of the season and losing their second game in overtime, the Canadiens went on an eight-game win streak that skyrocketed them to the top of the league standings and made them early Stanley Cup favorites. This win streak came to an abrupt end Nov. 4 in a 10-0 blowout loss to the Blue Jackets (a team we will talk about later).

The winning bug then flew to New York and bit the Rangers, who won 11 of the 13 games they played from Oct. 22 to Nov. 15. This included two individual three-game win streaks and one five-game win streak. This briefly put them at the top of the league standings.

Around the same time the Rangers were winning, the Blackhawks were starting to find their stride. Chicago went on a seven-game win streak from Oct. 28 to Nov. 9. The streak was part of a stretch where the Hawks posted a 13-2-2 record during the 17 games they played from Oct. 15 to Nov. 19.

The defending Stanley Cup Champions decided to get in on the streaking also. Behind the stellar play of Sidney Crosby, the Penguins posted a seven-game win streak from Dec. 1 to Dec. 14.

Also during the month of December, Minnesota caught the winning fever. Under new head coach Bruce Boudreau, the Wild went on a 12-game win streak that lasted from Dec. 4 to Dec. 29. The Wild have posted a 17-1-1 record in their last 19 games dating back to December.

Normally that would be considered the most impressive run a team can go on in a single season. But this isn’t an ordinary season.

Remember how I mentioned the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier? Back when that 10-0 win over the Canadiens happened, everyone thought it would be considered among the few highlights of the Blue Jackets’ season. Not much was expected of them this year, and head coach John Tortorella was on the hot seat. Then, shortly after the 10-0 win, the Blue Jackets went on a four-game win streak in mid-November. After a rocky end to the month of November, the Blue Jackets didn’t lose a single game during the month of December. This was part of a 16-game winning streak the Blue Jackets went on from Nov. 29 to Jan. 3. The win streak is the second longest during a single season in NHL history, only one game behind the 17-game win streak the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins went on. The Blue Jackets’ win streak included a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Dec. 31, which ended the Wild’s 12-game win streak.

The Blue Jackets’ historic win streak was ended by the Washington Capitals on January 5. The Capitals were in the midst of a nine-game win streak that ended on Jan. 16, when the Capitals lost an 8-7 overtime thriller to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Just when you think a team is about to separate themselves from the rest of the pack and establish themselves as the favorites for the Cup, another team comes along and takes their place. Now we’re all waiting anxiously to see which team decides to go streaking next.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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