The Hawks celebrate one of their 21 victories in their record-setting start to the season
The Chicago Blackhawks got off to an impressive record-setting start to the lockout-shortened 2013 season by going 24 games without a regulation loss. Their streak blew away the previous record of 15, set by the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks.
Boasting a .938 win percentage, the Hawks earned 45 of a possible 48 points to put them atop the Western Conference.
The streak all came to an end when the Colorado Avalanche exploded for six goals to defeat Chicago on Friday night in Denver. With the accomplishment now in the record books, let's look back at some of the key statistics that helped them set the mark:
Crawford is among the goaltending leaders in the NHL.
The Chicago Blackhawks are the best team defensively in the game, with a league-low 1.79 goals allowed per game, thanks primarily to the stellar play of their goaltenders.
Both Corey Crawford and Ray Emery rank among the top 10 netminders in the league. Crawford's 11 wins have him tied for first in the league, His 1.53 goals-against average and .940 save percentage are both good enough for second in the league. He's also posted two shutouts in 14 games.
Emery's statistics are just slightly behind Crawford's. He went a flawless 10-0-0 to start the season, with a 2.02 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage.
Strong performances from the goalies, along with a solid defensive approach by the team, have given the Blackhawks a major advantage in every game. The team hasn't allowed more than four goals a game, and even then, only once did anyone score four against the Hawks.
While Crawford and Emery have certainly proven to be capable netminders, they're both having career years in 2013. The duo are currently the front-runners for the Jennings Trophy, and Crawford's name has been brought up in early Vezina candidate discussions.
At over a point per game, Kane leads the Hawks offense.
Not only can the Blackhawks prevent goals, but they also know how to score them. The team's 75 goals, averaging 3.13 per game, had them ranked third in the league in goal scoring during their point streak.
Of course, all that scoring is driven by the team's offensive leader, Patrick Kane.
With 27 points—12 goals and 15 assists—in 24 games, Kane led the Blackhawks in scoring. His numbers ranked him seventh in points across the league. No other Chicago player was able to crack the NHL's top 25.
Kane also paced the squad on the power play, with five goals and nine points with the man advantage.
During their stretch, Kane had some personal scoring streaks of his own. He put up an eight-game point scoring streak and found the scoresheet in 19 of the team's 24 games, with seven of those multi-point games. Without Kane's consistent scoring, or the strong contributions across the team, the Hawks certainly would have not had a record-setting start to their season.
Just another come-from-behind victory for the Hawks.
The Blackhawks came from behind to earn a point an amazing 14 times this season.
In 13 of those 14 comebacks, the Blackhawks saw their opponents score first. They didn't let that get in the way of their success, going 10-0-3 in those games. Statistically speaking, the Hawks were slightly worse when their opponents drew first blood. All three of their shootout losses happened in games where the opponent put up the first goal.
Chicago even found ways to win consistently coming from behind late in the game. The Hawks were undefeated (3-0-1) when trailing after two periods. The Anaheim Ducks were only other team in the league to have a winning percentage over .500 when trailing after two.
Of course, the Hawks rarely had far to go to catch up. They never trailed by more than two goals. Even then, they only found themselves facing a two-goal deficit twice—both of those games ended in comeback victories by the Hawks.
Daniel Carcillo netted the overtime game-winner against the Avalanche to extend Chicago's win streak to 11 games.
While three players—Kane, Toews and Hossa—accounted for 43 percent of the goals scored during Chicago's streak, the Blackhawks received timely scoring across their lineup.
A total of 13 players have scored game-winning goals over the 24-game stretch. The Hawks only had a total of 12 different players score game-winning goals all last year.
This year's list include some unlikely scorers like Andrew Shaw, Nick Leddy and tough guy Daniel Carcillo. Granted, the more wins you have, the more game-winning goals can go around, but the Blackhawks sure are finding a way to spread out those goals.
The Hawks celebrate a home victory over the Wild.
Nestled in their amazing stretch of 24 unbeaten games was another record. The Blackhawks also posted a franchise-best 11-game winning streak. Over that stretch they scored 34 and allowed a mere 18 goals—an average of 1.64 per game.
The previous team record of nine straight victories was set back in December 2008.
The record is impressive for this year's club, especially when you consider that the Blackhawks are a franchise that's been around since 1926.