The Detroit Red Wings surpassed the 1929-30 Boston Bruins and 1975-76 Flyers for the longest home wining streak in NHL history with 21st straight win, in a 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars last night at Joe Louis Arena.
Leading up to the record setting night, their potential feat was being downplayed since three of their wins came in a shootout, which was introduced into the NHL in 2005.
The Bruins of the late-twenties and the Flyers of the mid-seventies were not afforded this luxury nor did they have an overtime period following regulation. So is this record legitimate or will it be tainted with an asterisk?
Regardless of its legitimacy, the streak is impressive nonetheless. Stars forward Adam Burish, the goal scorer for Dallas feels that the feat is equally if not more exceptional.
” I think its harder than it was in the 70s, just because of the parity. There are no games where you can just show up and think you’re going to win,” said Burish in a post-game interview.
As the clock wound down in the third period and it seemed destined that the Wings were headed to the record books, the crowd at Joe Louis was chanting “21!, 21!, 21!”
“In the end they were really cheering before and after the buzzer went, it was a pretty cool feeling,” said Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg.
Zetterberg opened the scoring eight minutes into the game on the power-play and Brad Stuart added a goal less than two minutes later, which turned out to be the game-winner.
Joey MacDonald, who has done an exceptional job filling in for the injured Jimmy Howard, turned aside 20 of the 21 shots he faced for the win. MacDonald was called up from the Wings AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids and is 4-1-1 with a 1.72 GAA, and .930 save % since joining the big club.
In the current wining streak the Red Wings have used three different goalies, which further speaks to their dominance on home ice.
Detroit needs all the points they can get in an attempt to win their division and conference and to try and secure home ice advantage for the playoffs. They’re in arguably the toughest division in the league, with three other division rivals currently in position to make the post-season.
St. Louis, Nashville, and Chicago sit 4th, 5th and 6th respectively in the Western Conference. The Blues are only five points back with two games in hand. The Wings have seven games remaining against those three clubs and out of their 24 games left on the schedule 16 are against teams that are currently in the playoffs.
The road ahead for the Detroit is not an easy one, but if they are able to secure that home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs, one would have to consider them a favorite to win the Stanley Cup.
This record will probably have an asterisk next to it when it gets entered into the NHL’s record books, and one could argue that it deserves to have one there. Regardless, this is a very impressive run that the Wings are on right now, and no asterisk can lessen the value of this remarkable team accomplishment.