With Sunday afternoon’s close shave that took over two hours in Detroit, the Chicago BlackHawks have practically assured themselves of the best record in hockey for this shortened season. With 2:02 remaining in regulation, Patrick Kane scored on a powerplay by roofing a shot past Jimmy Howard to force the game into OT where Kaner’d eventually end it with a clever shootout goal. Corey Crawford also deserves a lot of credit for this game as the BlackHawks had to stave off a PK late in the game in order to keep it a one-goal game. Crawford made 32 saves on the game, but perhaps equally remarkably responded well to having started after being pulled early in a game just a few days earlier.
The BlackHawks’ upcoming schedule doesn’t suggest a legitimate contender until they play the Ducks on March 20th, which will commence their toughest stretch of the season. The approaching lengthy road trip finds them against a lot of bad teams including the Avs and the Blue Jackets. Chicago will not see their arch-rival again until March 30th.
The BlackHawks are the best defensive team in the league, have the second best powerplay in the league, and are fourth in scoring with just over 3 GPG. Corey Crawford’s record is a staggering 9-0-3 with a 1.46 GAA, and .943% Saves.
The BlackHawks could now certainly break the Philly record and perhaps march beyond to a year without a loss. Improbable? Sure, but the current streak was outright crazy talk at one time.