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Blog Entry

Wings tie home streak record with an asterisk

Posted on: February 12, 2012 10:10 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 5:41 am
 
Of Detroit's 20 straight home wins, three came in the shootout. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

The Detroit Red Wings just did something we haven't seen in NHL history but twice before and not since the 1975-76 season. They won their 20th consecutive home game with a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Ironically enough, the 20-game streak ties the Flyers for longest all time. The Boston Bruins are also the co-record holders from way back in 1929-30. That's a long time that this record has stood.

Not to be the party pooper -- OK, I am sort of playing that role -- but this deserves an asterisk. Don't get me wrong, this is an amazing feat, especially in today's NHL. There is a reason why the Wings are only the third team to win 20 consecutive home games and that's the all-time record. It's damn tough.

But the Red Wings had a benefit the other two teams didn't. They have the shootout to help them settle ties. In the pre-shootout era, this streak would be described as a 20-game unbeaten streak. Again, that's exceptional and very noteworthy. It's just not the same.

Three times in this 20-game run the Wings have won the game via the skills contest, as people like to call it.

This is in a way akin to Roger Maris surpassing Babe Ruth's record with 61 home runs in 1961. He had the benefit of playing eight extra games after MLB expanded the season length. Maris was still honored as the record holder for years, but there was always that little asterisk, particularly among the old-time fans.

The way I see it, the only way the asterisk is muted if they push this streak out a lot longer. Then it becomes so impressive you sort of forget about those little shootout wins. They have a chance to set a new record when they go for No. 21 against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.

But again I don't want to take away completely from what they accomplished. It put a cap on one hell of a week for Hockeytown. Detroit was announced as the host for the next Winter Classic. Tomas Holmstrom celebrated his 1,000th career game and Nicklas Lidstrom set an NHL record of his own, playing more games with one team for a player who only had one team in his career. A bit convoluted, but still impressive.

In today's balanced and parity-laden NHL, thanks largely to free agency, that makes it perhaps more impressive than the others. Plus the Bruins benefitted from an era of full overtime. The Flyers won all of theirs in regulation considering there was no overtime then, but didn't have as tough of a league to play against.

It goes all ways, pros and cons for each era. That's what makes it so hard to compare, and why I don't want to sell what the Wings have done short. My whole point here is that what the Flyers in particular did was amazing, 20 consecutive home wins all coming in regulation.

Asterisk on the record or not, the Red Wings are virtually impossible to beat at home. That's why the race for the President's Trophy will be absolutely huge this season. With the way they play on home ice you have to think they might be favorites with home ice throughout.

I know not everybody is going to agree on this, so what's your take: Should the Wings' record have an asterisk because of the shootout?

More on the Wings

Recap: Red Wings 4, Flyers 3
Lidstrom sets record of his own
St. Louis almost as dominant at home

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Comments

Since: Feb 21, 2012
Posted on: February 21, 2012 4:19 pm
 

Wings tie home streak record with an asterisk

Why does everyone ignore the the fact that the 1975-76 Flyers not only won their last 20 regular season home games, they also won their first 4 home playoff games too.

Shouldn't the single season record be 24?



Since: May 21, 2007
Posted on: February 14, 2012 4:43 pm
 

Wings tie home streak record with an asterisk

The Flyers hold the record for the longest unbeaten streak and the Bruins hold the record for the longest home unbeaten streak.   
  • Overall: 35 games, by (25 wins, 10 ties)
  • Home: 34 games, by



Since: Sep 25, 2008
Posted on: February 14, 2012 4:27 pm
 

Wings tie home streak record with an asterisk

Overtime in the regular season did not exist until the 83/84 season. So there was not the possibility of even the 5 minute extra period for either Philly or Boston.


See my previous comment. ;)



Since: Sep 25, 2008
Posted on: February 14, 2012 4:24 pm
 

Wings tie home streak record with an asterisk

The previous two teams accomplished the feat in 60 minute regualation games.
 

False. The Bruins won 2 of their 20 in overtime. Did you read the story? The Flyers are the only team of the 3 whose streak only involved regulation wins.





Since: Sep 25, 2008
Posted on: February 14, 2012 4:20 pm
 

Wings tie home streak record with an asterisk

Wow. Looks like you hit a nerve, Brian.

For the record, I'm a Red Wings fan, and I posted when the streak hit 18 that if they managed to tie or beat the record, it would deserve an asterisk. Go ahead, all of you, crucify me while you're at it, if you can spare the time from complaining about Stubits. But you'll have to leave out all of that "wahhhh, he just hates the Wings" bullshit.

Get a grip, people.




Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: February 14, 2012 4:15 pm
 

Wings tie home streak record with an asterisk

The previous two teams accomplished the feat in 60 minute regualation games.  The Red Wings have required handicaps unavailable to other eras.



Since: Jul 1, 2011
Posted on: February 14, 2012 3:14 pm
 

Wings tie home streak record with an asterisk

Asterisk???  Even the Detroit papers are indicating that. How can you asterisk one era over another? Yes, there are shootouts & overtime now. But "back in the day" there was no salary cap. A team could load up talent by spending more. (Yes, my Wings did it from '95 to '02.) However, you can't buy a team anymore. How about travel? The Eastern Conference doesn't put half the travel miles in as the West. (Note that Philliy & Boston are the 2 with several long streaks.) Tough to win that first game back after logging thousands of miles. And doesn't a shootout give a lesser talented team a better chance of winning over a more talented team? Think about it.

I agree with an asterisk next to a home run king cheating with steroids.  But using it just to highlight different eras???  STOP IT!



Since: May 9, 2008
Posted on: February 14, 2012 2:57 pm
 

Wings tie home streak record with an asterisk

I am curious, how many homes games in a row without a loss for either the Flyers or Bruins. What is that record. When Detroit gets there then all * with be off.



Since: Apr 17, 2010
Posted on: February 14, 2012 2:33 pm
 

Wings tie home streak record with an asterisk

There was overtime when the Bruins won 20 straight in 1929-30. Might as well stick an asterisk on that one, too, eh?

I don't care. Stick an asterisk on it if you want. All I care about is which team is lifting that glorious 35 pound trophy over their heads at the end of the year.



Since: Oct 21, 2006
Posted on: February 14, 2012 2:13 pm
 

Wings tie home streak record with an asterisk

I think the point of the asterisk is the rule change. Overtime in the regular season did not exist until the 83/84 season. So there was not the possibility of even the 5 minute extra period for either Philly or Boston. Different eras only in the relation of teams in the league at the time between Boston (10) and Philly (21?). The lack of overtime was the same. I can somewhat see the idea of the asterisk due to that.

In the end, the real goal is the hardware.


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