It had to happen sooner or later -- the Chicago Blackhawks' NHL record games with a point streak had to end. The Colorado Avalanche, the team that was, at the time, tied for last place in the Western Conference, were the team to do it it. They blew out the Hawks in Denver by a score of 6-2 in a very un-Hawklike game.
Their 11 game winning streak set a franchise record, their +32 goal differential (before last night) led the NHL easily. Their next closest competition for the Presidents' Trophy, the Boston Bruins, are 10 points behind them, while the second place team in the Central, the Red Wings, are 17 points behind. How do they miss the playoffs? If they go 2-19-2.
Were the Hawks mentally and physically tired from maintaining this kind of pace? Sure, probably. Are they upset the streak ended? Of course -- why wouldn't you be? The team and coaching staff are smart enough to know that a) streaks don't last forever and b) every team has a bad blowout loss now and again. That streak momentum is still enough to get the Hawks into the playoffs with just a few more wins, and it's still something to brag on. Sure, it's over -- and other teams' fans are gloating about that. Honestly, though, who cares? No other team accomplished what Chicago did this season, and it's going to be years before another team pulls a streak even close to this one off.
The Blackhawks now officially have the least amount of pressure of any team in the NHL. No streak, and no way that they don't make the post-season. Get ready for them to be a pain in the side of every other team in the Western Conference for the rest of the season. Will it last through the playoffs? Who knows -- but these Blackhawks are something special, streak or no.