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Does An "All-Time" NHL Record Really Tell a Story for All Time?

By February 25, 2013

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Terry Sawchuk playing for the Red Wings in the 1950s.

After winning a couple more on the weekend, the 2013 Chicago Blackhawks have claimed a place in the NHL record book.

15-0-3 to open the season. It's never been done before.

True, the NHL has changed how it decides games and calculates the standings in recent years, by adding regular-season overtime and shootouts.

Chicago's streak includes a pair of wins in overtime, a couple more in the shootout, and three shootout losses.

Under the old system, all those games would have gone down as ties, giving the Blackhawks an 11-0-7 mark.

Making that adjustment still leaves them with at least a point in 18 straight games.

So even compared to previous eras, it's the hottest start in NHL history.

That sort of unquestionable record is a rarity in the hockey world.

Many NHL records are relatively meaningless these days, especially playoff records and "all-time" marks.

There might have been a time when the record book told a plausible story of the league's greatest players and greatest teams.

But that time is fading.


Photo: Terry Sawchuk, shown playing for the Red Wings in the 1950s, is among the greatest goaltenders in NHL history. But he barely gets a mention in the record book (Pictorial Parade/Getty Images).


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