I like hockey, and grew up watching the Chicago Blackhawks, a lot. I went to a few games at the old Chicago Stadium when a kidling, and saw Hall of Famers like Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Glenn Hall play. (Much as I love baseball, and hockey is on the lower rungs of my Favorite Sports, attending a hockey game in person is the best of all sports. The texture of the experience is different, and special. There's the chill from the ice, the moisture in the air, the colorful uniforms of players flying across the rink.) So, I'm very pleased to see the current Chicago team doing so remarkably well and getting all their attention by setting the NHL record for the longest streak to start a season without a regulation loss. It's now at 24 games and counting.
The thing is, it's one of the stupider records I've ever seen, especially for such a high-attention one.
The Blackhawks' are 21-0-3 at the moment, which sounds great. (And on one level is remarkable.) But, you see, the National Hockey League changed it rules a few years back, and if you tie a game during regulation play and therefore go into overtime -- then you automatically get a point. If you lose that game in overtime...it doesn't count as a loss! All that happens is that the winning team gets an extra point.
The Blackhawks have actually lost three games. But they don't count as losses. That's why you don't see a loss on their record. Even though they have actually lost three games.
So, it's a very nice record to have, just not quite as impressive as it sounds.
What is impressive is that out of a possible 46 point this season, the Blackhawks have accumulated 43. That is impressive.
But being 21-0-3 when you've actually lost three games. Less so.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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