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Just How Impressive Was the Chicago Blackhawks' Record-Setting Run?

Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2013

Just How Impressive Was the Chicago Blackhawks' Record-Setting Run?

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    The Chicago Blackhawks did the NHL a huge favor.

    Following the brutal four-month NHL lockout, the Blackhawks came roaring out of the gate and failed to lose a game in regulation for the first half of the 48-games season.

    The Blackhawks set a record for the longest point streak at the start of the season. They roared by the previous NHL record of 16 games that was set by the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks.

    Those Ducks went on to win the Stanley Cup.

    The Blackhawks have not won anything yet, but it is clear they are one of the most talented teams in the NHL and it will take a sensational effort for an opponent to beat them in a seven-game series.

    The streak was very impressive, but there have been other streaks in pro sports that have been just as impressive or perhaps even more than the Blackhawks' 24-game point streak.

1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers, NHL Unbeaten Streak

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    The Philadelphia Flyers were a juggernaut in 1979-80. They split their first two games of the season before they went on a streak that has never been topped.

    The Flyers went a record 35 games before they tasted defeat again. The NHL did not have regular-season overtime at that point and if teams were tied at the end of 60 minutes, the game ended in a tie.

    The Flyers were 25-0-10 during that streak, finally losing to the Minnesota North Stars.

    The Flyers finished with 116 points that season and made it to the Stanley Cup Final where they were defeated by the New York Islanders.

1977-78 Montreal Canadiens, 28-Game Unbeaten Streak

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    While the 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens saw their record eclipsed by the Philadelphia Flyers two years later, they went on an impressive 28-game unbeaten streak during the regular season.

    More importantly, they won their third consecutive of four straight Stanley Cups that spring.

    The 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens went 59-10-11 during that season for 129 points. They beat the Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins to win the Stanley Cup.

    One year earlier, the Montreal Canadiens went 60-8-12 during the regular season for 132 points.

1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Winning Streak

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    Few teams in pro sports history have ever been as talented or as motivated as the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.

    They had been to the NBA Finals in seven of the previous nine seasons, but they had not won any of them.

    However, the 1971-72 Lakers would not be denied. With superstars Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West leading the way, the Lakers simply refused to lose.

    They started their winning streak in November and wouldn't lose until Jan. 7, 1972, when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Milwaukee Bucks ended a monstrous 33-game winning streak.

    That's the longest winning streak in North American pro sports history.

    The season before, the Bucks had set the NBA record, winning 20 games in a row with Abdul-Jabbar leading the way.

    The Lakers would finally win their first NBA championship in a five-game series against the New York Knicks that spring.

1972 Miami Dolphins, NFL Unbeaten Streak

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    The Miami Dolphins were perfect in 1972.

    The Dolphins won all 14 regular season games and won three postseason games to go 17-0-0.

    The 1972 Dolphins are the only team in NFL history to record a perfect record.

    Head coach Don Shula did not have a team loaded with superstars, but the Dolphins were efficient, hungry and productive. Quarterback Bob Griese was injured much of the season and backup quarterback Earl Morrall started nine games during the streak.

    Ironically, the perfect Dolphins are often remembered for their gaffe in Super Bowl VII. Leading 14-0 in the fourth quarter, placekicker Garo Yepremian attempted a 32-yard field goal that would have stretched the lead to 17-0 and put the game out of reach.

    However, the kick was blocked and Yepremian picked up the ball and fumbled it while attempting to pass. Mike Bass of the Redskins picked off the fumble in mid-air and returned it for a touchdown.

    The Dolphins were embarrassed by the play, but they made no more mistakes the rest of the way and won the game 14-7 for their first Super Bowl title.

2007 New England Patriots, NFL Unbeaten Streak

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    The 2007 New England Patriots did not win the Super Bowl.

    They fell short in the championship game to Eli Manning, David Tyree and the New York Giants.

    But prior to the final minutes of the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLII, the Patriots were perfect.

    They reeled off 16 straight regular-season wins before defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars and San Diego Chargers in the postseason.

    However, they dropped a 17-14 decision to the Giants and could not bring home the championship.

    Still, it was one of the most impressive steaks in sports history for Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

2002 Oakland A's, American League Unbeaten Streak

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    The longest winning streak in Major League Baseball history was set by the New York Giants, who won 26 games in a row in 1916.

    That streak, from the dead-ball era in baseball, helped the Giants finish in fourth place that season.

    In baseball's modern era, the 2002 Oakland A's reeled off an American League-record 20 consecutive victories.

    These were the famed "Moneyball" A's featured in the 2011 film starring Brad Pitt.

    The A's were not a team of superstars, but they got stellar pitching, clutch hitting and late heroics to keep their streak going.

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