Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Jackets, Wild surge to double digit win streaks


     In sports, teams are always looking to go on a win streak. Eventually, a team in any sports league will break out on a streak, some good, some bad. For example, last year in the NHL, the Florida Panthers and Chicago Blackhawks tied for the longest win streak, with each team winning 12 straight, at different parts of the season. Currently in the NHL, 2 others teams have been hot lately, setting franchise records. Let's get into the details.
      First, the shorter one with the Minnesota Wild, starting on December 4th, have won 11 consecutive games. The main reason? The goaltending. With about 1.9 goals scored against per game this season, the Wild lead the NHL in that category. On the streak, the Wild have only allowed 3 or more goals once, surrendering 4 against the New York Rangers, but even then the offense stepped up, scoring 7 goals, lead by a 4 point night by center Charlie Coyle for the win. Coyle leads the team in goals (with 12), and newcomer/veteran Eric Staal leads the team in assists (18) and points (29). Star goalie Devan Dubnyk has lead the team with his outstanding GAA of 1.58 and SV% of .947. The Wild's next game is against the New York Islanders on Thursday, December 29th, 2016.
         For the longer streak, starting on November 29th, the Columbus Blue Jackets have won their last 13 games. Like the Wild, the Jackets have received an amazing performance from the back end. With 2.0 goals against per game, the Blue Jackets are only behind... You guessed it, the Wild for least goals against per game in the NHL. The Jackets have allowed 3 goals twice in the past 11 games, but obviously prevailed in both. They are also second in goals scored per game (3.4) and the NHL in PP% (27.1%). Like the Wild and Dubnyk, the Blue Jackets have been getting a nice performance from starting goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who has a GAA of 1.91 and a SV% of .934 this year. RW Cam Atkinson leads the team in goals (15) and points (35), plus center Alex Wennberg is the team leader in assists, with 24 helpers. The Jackets next game is also on December 29th, with their opponent being the Winnipeg Jets.
            If I told you it was impossible that both these teams would have their streaks still intact by the new year, but one team could still have their streak going, you might say "Why not?" The answer to that question would be that the Jackets and Wild will face off in a probably intense interleague game of double digit win streaks, assuming both teams win on 12/29. But for now, we'll have to wait and see if both streaks are still intact by the time that game starts, so if you want, place your bets in the comments below.     

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