The league’s longest streak without a loss to start a season is going to be on the line on Sunday afternoon at Hockeytown USA, where the Detroit Red Wings will try to halt the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks are the class of the NHL right now, and they are still streaking at 21 games in a row without a regulation loss. They are closing in on the record for the most games in NHL history without a regulation loss. Dating back to last season, the team has picked up at least one point in 27 straight games. The NHL record is 35 games by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1979-80. The most recent win came on Friday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, a 4-3 victory in OT. That was the eighth straight game with a victory for the Hawks, and we would like to think if they win this one, they are going to be able to stretch this streak quite a few games with two straight coming at the United Center. G Corey Crawford is continuing to be one of the best goalies in the game, and he is going to be up for a fight here in Motown on Sunday. Crawford has a 1.46 GAA, nine wins, and a .943 save percentage.
The Wings are back at home on Sunday after a couple games on the West Coast. The truth of the matter is that this has been a very average team in the Western Conference, and the stats show it. Detroit is averaging just 2.8 goals per game this year, ranking a very mediocre 14th. The team is averaging just 29.5 shots per game and is converting on only 15.6 percent of its power plays, and these numbers are also very average. Defensively, things aren’t all that much better. G Jimmy Howard has a so-so 8-7-2 record with a 2.83 GAA and a .903 save percentage. It happens to be that G Jonas Gustavsson has had the better season of these two goalies, but we still don’t think that he is going to get the start after he was in the pipes on Friday against the San Jose Sharks. Detroit is allowing 2.7 goals per game on 28.5 shots per game, and it is only stuffing up 77.4 percent of its penalty kills. Again, the numbers are very average, and that doesn’t cut it for a historically great team that is supposed to be one of the best in hockey.
There really is no reason to stop backing the Blackhawks. They just keep winning and time and time again, and until another result happens, we have to keep thinking that at a price of -127, that we are getting a nice price.
Chicago Blackhawks @ Detroit Red Wings Pick: Chicago Blackhawks -127