Wild West: Early Hot Streaks (2019)

Chris Kane

2019-10-14

 

A conversation this weekend on the success (or lack thereof) of a couple of teams to start the season got me thinking about starting streaks in the NHL. It ends up being a surprisingly relevant topic as most of the records that I looked at for this article are held by players or teams in the west. Just to set a little bit of context, we are super early in the season to be thinking about any record book. The team with the largest point streak to start the season was the 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks and they did it over 24 games. Anaheim comes in a rather distant second with a 16-game streak. Our current season leaders are at the five-game mark. I also looked at player streaks and the Modern Era record is held by Patrick Kane with 40 points over 26 games (though the historical record is held by Wayne Gretzky who had 153 points over 51 games). Our current streak leader has maintained points in five games, early days for sure. Even so, there are some very definite surprises, so let’s dig in.

 

Edmonton – Undefeated over five games

So this one was a significant surprise. Edmonton is coming off of a struggle of a season where they dramatically disappointed the hope their playoff run from a couple of years ago inspired. We were getting used to the narrative that Edmonton was a black hole of a team that even Connor McDavid couldn’t will to win. Somehow they have a few wins to their name now – so are we looking at a brand new team? There are a couple of positive signs actually. They are currently 9th in the league with 13 goals against, and 7th in the league in goals for with 21. Unfortunately, they are 27th in the league in their shots for percentage. Their 47% meaning that they are facing more shots than they are putting on net. Their superstars have been clicking (as we will get to in a minute), but overall their offense has not been all that dangerous with the 15th ranked expected goals for. Edmonton also has the highest team shooting percentage at over 16%. So while Edmonton’s start has certainly been exciting (and surprising) it looks like Edmonton is likely not challenging Chicago’s (or even Anaheim’s) record.

 

Colorado – Undefeated over four games

Colorado on this list is less of a surprise. The hype over the summer was real and expectations were high after their end of season and post-season surges. Colorado has scored 16 goals over their four games with only nine goals against. They are still underwater with their shots percentage (48%), which is good for 19th in the league. They are in the middle of the pack (14th) in expected goals as