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2013 NHL Season: History Predicts the Chicago Blackhawks Won't Win the Cup

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 01:  Viktor Stalberg #25 of the Chicago Blackhawks chases the puck after a save by Steve Mason #1 of the Columbus Blue Jackets at the United Center on March 1, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Blue Jackets 4-3 in overtime.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Mark JonesSenior Analyst IMarch 5, 2013

The statistics surrounding the Chicago Blackhawks' season are surreal.

Points in 22 consecutive games. Wins in nine consecutive games. Ten victories in 12 road games. A plus-29 goal differential. A nine-point lead on all 29 other NHL teams. Four players with more than 16 scoring points.

Forty-four days into the lockout-shortened 2013 season, the 'Hawks are simply blowing away their competition.

But, if history has any say in the four coming months, the past 22 games of dominance mean nothing.

Just one of the past six teams to lead the NHL standings on March 5th—the 2008 Detroit Red Wings—has gone on to win the Stanley Cup.

Likewise, just one of the past nine Presidents' Trophy winners (as regular season champions) has also been crowned postseason champion, and three of the past four have lost in the playoffs' first round.

However, one such streak stands out above the rest as particularly surprising.

The NHL's leading team after Day 44 of the regular season—which usually falls in mid- to late-November—has not won Lord Stanley's trophy for nine consecutive years.

Yes, that's correct.

Nine consecutive years.

Why are so many early leaders faltering down the stretch? It may simply be a matter of the cliche, of "peaking too early" and, later on, "burning out" as the season takes its toll.

Unlike many teams which eventually fall into this trap, however, the Blackhawks have, throughout their success, still dealt with significant injuries and lengthy road trips.

Forward Dave Bolland, defenseman Michal Rozsival and, most notably, starting goaltender Corey Crawford have all dealt with injury problems during this season's first few months. The 'Hawks also played 10 of their first 12 games away from the United Center, but remain 10-0-2 on the road so far this year.

Chicago also hasn't gotten overly lucky with its shooting percentage, which invariably tends to return to the mean over the long term.

The 'Hawks have scored on 9.64 percent of shots on goal, just slightly above the league average of 9.26 percent. By comparison, in their 5-1 start to the year, the Tampa Bay Lightning recorded a shooting percentage of a whopping 18 percent; now, they're 9-12-1 and near the bottom of the conference.

Only time will tell if history's prophecy can indeed hold true in 2013.

If any team has the capability to snap the streak, though, it is, most certainly, the Blackhawks.

 

Mark Jones has been a Bleacher Report featured columnist since 2009, receiving almost a million views on his 450-plus articles to date. 

Visit his profile to read more, or follow him on Twitter.

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