Detroit Red Wings: Does the Home Winning Streak Need an Asterisk?

Kevin W. RyanContributor IIIFebruary 15, 2012

DETROIT, MI - FEBRUARY 14: The Detroit Red Wings celebrate their NHL record breaking 21st consecutive home victory by beating the Dallas Stars 3-1 at Joe Louis Arena on February 14, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Its no secret the Detroit Red Wings have broken a long, and very credible record: 21 straight home wins. 

Unfortunately, what fails to make the news is the extreme difference between the rules of the game since the record was last tied with the 1975-76 Broad St. Bullies in Philadelphia.

After the strike in 2004, numerous league rule changes were made: most notably, the Shootout feature. No longer are teams credited with a tie, but rather every single game ended with a winner and loser...something very new to the NHL

Throughout the streak, the Wings have only had 4 wins end in extra time: three in a shootout, one in OT. 

The only other argument to be made is the fact that the Wings have "active boards". More simply, all of those advertisements that keep the puck out of the stands are made out of a special-cut combination of wood and a plastic material called "Kydex."

Until the San Jose Sharks introduced "active boards" at their home ice of HP Pavilion, the Wings were the only team in the league to actually use them. "Active boards" allow for pucks to hit the end boards and bounce back to the front of the goal faster, a strong advantage when utilized.

However, since the material is used throughout the game, both teams have the ability to use them. Its the same argument that can be made against the Colorado Rockies for allegedly freezing baseballs before games; both teams benefit from the abnormality.    

As a diehard Sharks fan, it pains me to give props to the Wings. The pain is strikingly similar to when you consume too many Sour Patch Kids.

However, I believe I have analyzed all of the possible angles to which I can argue against the Wings: The feat was simply remarkable.  

Cheers to the boys in Hockeytown.