Imagine if the Cubs, or any MLB team for that matter, could match the Chicago Blackhawks’ NHL-record season-opening winning streak of 22 games, and counting.
Of course there’s one very big difference, that being the Blackhawks (19-0-3) technically haven’t lost a game in regulation. Three times they’ve fallen in a shootout this season.
With it unlikely baseball ever decides extra inning games with a home run derby contest, the comparison doesn’t add up. But for the sake of having a little fun, let’s do it anyway…
The longest winning streak in NHL history belongs to the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers who won 35 consecutive games without suffering a regulation loss—a streak that began three-games into the season.
Until the Blackhawks’ magical run, the NHL’s previous longest season-opening winning streak was set by the Anaheim Might Ducks in 2006-07 with a run of 16 games without a regulation loss.
The longest winning streak in Major League Baseball still belongs to the New York Giants who won 26 consecutive games in 1916. Baseball’s longest season-opening winning streak, however, is 13-games, accomplished by the 1982 Atlanta Braves and later matched by the 1987 Milwaukee Brewers.
Another wrinkle with the Blackhawks’ streak is that it’s coming during a shortened regular season (48-games) due to the lengthy NHL lockout, which comes out to playing 58-percent of the league’s normal 82-game regular season schedule.
So percentage wise, the Hawks have completed roughly 45-percent of their shortened regular season without a regulation loss. If, however, we calculate this out to what would be a full-length regular season (82-games), the Blackhawks would be roughly 25-percent of the way through the campaign.
By baseball standards, a 162-game regular season schedule condensed to 58-percent would equal 94-games, thus meaning a baseball team would have to win its first 24-games to match the Blackhawks’ season-opening streak this year–which would basically double the longest season-opening winning streak ever to start a season (the Braves & Brewers, 13-games).
And when the numbers are punched out over an entire 162 game season, that season-opening winning streak, which would need to cover 25-percent of the season, would have to be roughly (40-0) to match the Blackhawks! Talk about incredible!
Professor of mathematical sciences at Bentley University in Waltham, Mass, Richard Cleary, suggests the probability of another NHL team matching the Blackhawks’ season-opening winning streak as once ever 700 years. The catch of course, is that every team only has one chance to start the season with a winning streak.
So what are the odds of a similar streak every happening in baseball? I have no idea, other than to guess it’s on the doorstep of impossible.
As a side note, the Cubs hold claim to the second-longest winning streak in baseball history (not to open a season) spanning 21-games, and, they’ve done it twice: June 5-July 8, 1880 & Sept. 4-Sept. 27, 1935.
As for the Cubs’ longest winning streak to open a season, that one I’m not sure of. But I’d be just fine settling for a win on opening day in 2013.
Len Kasper participated in the ‘Shoot the Puck’ competition during the second intermission of the Blackhawks game Tuesday night.
The Cubs broadcaster received mixed cheers when announced as the celebrity shooter, but of course, there always seems to be equal representation of Cubs and White Sox fans supporting the Hawks.
Nonetheless, when ol’ Lenny slipped the puck past a makeshift barrier and into the goal on his first of three possible tries, the United Center crowd roared with approval.
It was quite the stage for Kasper, a noted hockey fan, as the Blackhawks squared off against the rival Vancouver Canucks.
By most standards it’s a young rivalry, but the matchup has become one of the fiercest in the NHL, and truly, one of the most competitive rivalry series in professional sports.
As usual, the game didn’t disappoint. Chicago won in a shootout 4-3, and in doing so tied the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks’ record for the longest points streak to start a season (16 games).
The Blackhawks improved to (13-0-3) on the campaign, now a third of the way over in a shortened regular season due to the NHL lockout, and there’s no sign this Blackhawks team is slowing down.
However, it could be awhile before Kasper is back at the UC. The Cubs open their spring training schedule this Saturday (Feb. 23) with Pat & Keith calling the action on WGN Radio.
Kasper’s first broadcasted is slated for Cubs.com the following day (Feb. 24), perhaps leaving just enough time for Len to sneak in one last Hawks game against the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.
But I wouldn’t blame Kasper for heading out west early. It’s hard to beat a goal and a shootout win against an arch rival.
There’s a striking similarity to the Cubs approach for turning its franchise around to what the Blackhawks have done to right the ship in just a few short years on the city’s West Side.
I was reminded of this Tuesday night at the United Center, watching the Hawks win another thriller in front of a packed house.
The Bullpen Session is a weekly round-up of my observations surrounding Cubs baseball and much, much more!
On the menu this week: Blackhawks hockey, the departure of Micah Hoffpauir, playoff expansion and one of my favorite movies.
I was excited to be back at the United Center Wednesday night. Mainly, I was thrilled to get my first look in the flesh at Marty Brodeur.
To see one of the greats of all-time between the pipes is like seeing a Pedro Martinez or Greg Maddux pitch.
Brodeur has led the Devils to three Stanley Cup championships, is a four-time Vezina Trophy winner, a two-time gold medalist and a 10-time All Star. To say he’s the best ever in goal is no stretch.
Brodeur, unfortunately, left the game in the second period with a bruised right elbow. And to make matters worse, the Hawks lost 5-3 to a New Jersey team that ranked dead last in the Eastern Conference.
Meanwhile, I’ve been fortunate to see numerous greats pitch at Wrigley Field. Just in the past few seasons I’ve caught Pedro, Glavine, Oswalt, Lee and Halladay. But a few others I’d like to see remain.
Here’s my list in no particular order: Johan Santana, David Price, Ubaldo Jimenez, Felix Hernandez. Who else should I add?
Felt good to back at the UC Saturday night.
Game 1 of my modest Blackhawks season ticket package.
Hawks threw us peons in the 300-level a bone with a pre-season matchup vs. Detroit. Hey, we’ll take it!
With the Cubs suffering through the final weeks of the season, Hawks hockey is right on que. Cubs fans, including myself, could use a break. The Bears are the easy choice, but the Hawks are the popular one. And why not after winning its first Stanley Cup in 49 years!
The Blackhawks are so hot right now 20,553 showed up for Saturday’s preseason game. That’s a franchise record for an exhibition contest. Coach Q’s bunch, as expected, delivered a thrilling 4-2 win. Not exactly the excitement surrounding Wrigley Field, eh!
I printed the Hawks current roster to take with me to the game.
There are so many new faces I can’t always tell who’s who out there.
I still see No. 32 and think Versteeg, No. 16 Ladd, No. 33 Byfuglien…and so on.
But those guys are history and the new meat has arrived, and just in time for the official end of the Cubs’ season.
I jumped off the couch when Patrick Kane shot the puck. Hands on head, I frantically looked at the back of the net…no puck, no goal light.
Did the puck go in? Did the Hawks just win the cup? Is Pat Kane’s victory lap warranted?
It’s not how I dreamed the Hawks winning Lord Stanley, but forget about dreams, this time it’s for real! Hawks Win!, Hawks Win!
Great sound from NBC gathering the reactions of the Hawk players lifting the best trophy in all of sports. Nothing fake about all the hooting and hollering, just pure unscripted emotion.
Hossa is the second player to hoist the cup, which speaks volumes about what he means to this team. Then Sopel, deservingly so, who was second to none sacrificing his body. Dunkin ‘Teeth’, all seven of them, sacrificed to lift the cup. Seabrook and Bolland celebrating for the first time…John Madden his third, but says this one means the most.
How far the Hawks have come in so little time. My first Hawks game was in 2003. The United Center so empty you could hear the players talking on the ice. Then came Toews and Kane, followed by Rocky Wirtz…a winning season, a playoff birth, Coach Q…the sellout crowds…Chelsea Dagger.
Now a Stanley Cup. Simply, unbelievable.
It’s been awesome watching the Blackhawks celebrate its trip to the Stanley Cup Finals!
Reminds me of the Cubs celebrating its division titles in 2007 & ’08…TV cameras swarming the locker room…player interviews…the anticipation of a possible world championship!
I just hope the Blackhawks take advantage…because you never known when they’ll get back, as evident from its last Finals appearance in 1992.
Reaching the mountain top comes with great difficulties. And despite the Hawks’ core-talent of proven young players, look no further than our Cubbies to remember a good team this year doesn’t guarantee a good team the following one.
The Blackhawks have a tremendous, yet delicate, opportunity to reach the Chicago ranks of the Bulls’, Bears’ and White Sox’s world championship teams.
But a failed chance at returning the Stanley Cup to Chicago will only leave the Hawks wondering, like our Cubs, when that next chance for glory might come again.
Wouldn’t it be grand if the Cubs gave us a little post-season excitement like the Blackhawks!
I mean, how much fun was Saturday’s game at the UC! Hawks blowing the big lead…then tying the game with 13 seconds left…killing the major penalty in OT.
Hossa taps in the game-winner and I nearly jumped through the ceiling…sent my old man slippers flying, too!
Can’t remember being this jubilant about a Cubs game since Zambrano’s no hitter.
Instead, we’ve spent Octobers feeling like Nashville’s fans…trying to figure out how everything went so wrong, so quickly.
We can only hope the Cubs take notice of the Hawks’ playoff run…a simple reminder what post-season baseball is all about–FUN!
The Blackhawks did its best Cubs impersonation Friday night…losing on home-ice against Nashville 4-1.
Any coincidence the Cubs were in attendance?
Canadian native and hockey enthusiast, Ryan Dempster, set up the affair…the Cubs players sporting Hawks jerseys and cheering from a luxury suite.
Go figure the Hawks get out-classed in the opening round loss…much like the Cubs did against Los Angeles in 2008.
A playoff series in which the Cubs played under the pressure of a 97-win season and 100 years of championship futility.
Likewise, the Hawks are playing under similar pressure as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference…it showed…and the Preds staked an early 1-0 series lead.
Perhaps the Hawks have better luck in Game 2 Sunday…at the very least, the Cubbies will be traveling to New York, and not the UC.