Detroit managed to join two other elite teams last night. Now that Detroit has won 20 straight home games and tied the NHL record also held by the 1929-30 Boston Bruins and 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers, it’s worth asking: Is Detroit’s run just as impressive as the two that came before it?
Now, this question is purely an academic one regarding the record and is worth pointing out and trying to answer as logically as possible. So lets break down the seasons and see if Detroit’s streak measures up to Boston’s and Philadelphia’s respected streaks.
The Boston Bruins 20-game home winning streak came at the end of their season and they won their first two home matchups in 1930-31. So if you want to get technical, the Bruins actually won 22 straight home games – but the NHL only counts streaks that span over a single season. And yes, Boston did benefit from the overtime as has Detroit. The one team that hasn’t benefited from the overtime was the Philadelphia Flyers.
Now, the 75-76 Flyers were forced to win all 20 of their contests in regulation time. And this was an era where hockey was definitely tough and without the use of overtime this feat was even harder to accomplish. Could you imagine winning 20 straight games at home in today’s league without overtime or shootouts?
So does that mean that the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins home winning streaks are more impressive? Probably so, but that doesn’t mean that what Detroit has accomplished is any less remarkable. Their record tying performance on Sunday is the latest high note of one of the most persistent dynasties in NHL history.
Detroit hasn’t missed the playoffs since 1989-90 and despite some fierce competition, it looks like they will not only continue that trend, but they might do so in style by winning the Central Division for the 10th time in 11 seasons. That high seed would certainly be great for the Red Wings because – as we’ve all seen – they really know how to make the most of home ice advantage.
But really fans, this question is merely one to make us all think about how the game has developed and changed. And also make you wonder if Detroit could measure up with the likes of these other two teams in their respected eras? Let the ranting begin fans and be sure to let your voice be heard on this matter.