The Blackhawks broke nearly every conceivable record with 24 straight games with a point before Friday’s loss. Sports editor Jon Styf and columnist Tom Musick
Styf: It was amazing, stupendous. Sensational. Even bananas, as you wrote this week. But I also think its funny math (or bananas, if you will) to celebrate a streak that includes three losses. Regulation, shootout or overtime, still is a loss. And I’m lost on comparing now to before in terms of records. The NHL decided to not let ties be ties after the 2004-05 lockout when it added a point into the equation, meaning OT games are worth three total points and regulation games two. So why would we now be celebrating records that aren’t comparable?
Musick: Just embrace it, Jon. Give history a hug.
Styf: I’m upset Tom. And your failure to engage my upsetedness makes me more upset. It’s contrived history. This isn’t Cal Ripken’s streak or the New York Giants’ (baseball) 26-game winning streak. This isn’t even the Moneyball 2002 Oakland A’s and their 20 in a row. This is something entirely different, that feels like it was made up in someone’s basement. Maybe Tinkers to Evers to Chance making the Hall of Fame is a good comparison. Should I hug that history? The Hawks are good, really good, but that streak was ... weird.
Musick: I think it’s great, and it’s exactly what hockey needed. Yeah, the overtime rules are different these days, but the Hawks have yet to lose in anything other than the shootout round. A few years ago, those games would have gone down as ties anyway because no shootout round existed. And if it’s pure wins that you’re after, the Hawks had 11 of those in a row, which was a franchise record and only six shy of the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins’ all-time mark.
Styf: I’m not arguing if the Hawks are good or not. That’s clear. Just saying that the NHL did change the rules. And it isn’t a tie. There is a winner and loser. And three times during that streak, the Hawks were the loser. If we’re celebrating shootout losses, then Hooray! for the 2011 U.S. Women’s World Cup team and their shootout loss to Japan. In reality, they were disappointed with the result. And it wasn’t history they created with it. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Now you want to tell me it counts in hockey too?
Musick: Horseshoes! We should organize a horsheshoes tournament. It could be sort of like the Harlem Shake video contest. As for hockey, the rules are the rules, and the Hawks are piling up points fair and square. Is it quirky? I guess so. Life is quirky. We live in a country where someone can lose the popular vote for president and live in the White House for the next eight years. (Online commenters, assemble!)
Styf: The liberal meda ... strikes again.