NHL Teams Surprising Streak

March 23, 2013 by  
Filed under B2P Hot Stove

This year the NHL has had its’ share of teams with point streaks unlike we have seen in years past. The shortened season perhaps lends itself to teams not taking a night off and heeding the coach’s daily rallying cry “boys the next one is the biggest game of the season”.

The Chicago Blackhawk’s season starting 24-game streak without a loss caused quite a stir throughout the sports universe. The commitment to excellence and of course 1 or 2 fortuitous bounces aided in Chicago’s splash of victorious consistency. The ‘Hawks picked by most pundits, before the truncated start to the season, to be in contention for a Stanley Cup.

The Pittsburgh Penguins another team picked by many to be right there vying for a Stanley Cup are currently on a 10-game win streak. Both the Blackhawks and the Penguins have displayed resiliency and great results. After all with players like Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Sidney Crosby, and Evgeni Malkin anything is possible or even probable.

There is one team with an impressive streak of their own and no one saw this coming. The Columbus Blue Jackets picked by many prognosticators to be bottom feeders of the Central Division of the Western Conference had a remarkable run.  At the beginning of March the Blue Jackets seemed as if they were playing just to finish out the strike shortened season and found themselves in last place.

Click, Click. Almost unfathomable less than a month ago, the Blue Jackets are now in the hunt for a playoff spot after a 12-game point streak which is a franchise record.  Without star studded names the Blue Jackets have found chemistry. Enter stage left Prospal, Tyutin, Brassard, Foligno, Umberger, Letestu, Johnson, Bobrovsky and you have a core of mostly young players believing and achieving.

Blue Jackets Coach Todd Richards said on the 12-game point streak, “if you asked anybody in the hockey world, they never would have imagined this”. So, what makes a losing team gather confidence when at their lowest point? The one element of team sports that can make or break a respective clubs success is faith in one another. If teammates don’t trust each other and believe in the process or journey then even the most talented teams falter. Faith is supernatural grace in the divine but very much used in the context of believing in one another especially in team sports.

I had the chance to spend some time in Columbus with the team and you get the sense these young Blue Jacket players are making incredible strides overcoming adversity and finding confidence collectively. In some respects this is the most impressive streak of the NHL season thus far because these Blue Jackets have had to dig deep to overcome a lack of confidence and have the faith necessary to turn things around. Indeed, they have done just that and are currently right in the thick of things for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

No matter how the final stretch of the regular season turns out for Columbus, their players will always remember shocking the hockey world in 2013 and hopefully will use this life experience to not only become stronger competitors but people as well.