As of right now, no one in the National Hockey League has been able to beat the Chicago Blackhawks in regulation. The Blackhawks are 11-0-3, and are at least two games ahead of everyone else in the league.
Most recently, the ‘Hawks defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-1. The Sharks looked as if they could have beaten the ‘Hawks the first time these two played each other this season, but fell apart in the second half of the game.
This time, the Blackhawks wasted no time taking the Sharks down nice and early, scoring the first two goals of the game. San Jose’s Tim Kennedy scored his first goal of the season to put San Jose back in the game and down by one, but Chicago’s Andrew Shaw responded back later in the second period, giving them their two-goal lead again.
Chicago’s Niklas Hjalmarsson put the nail in the coffin in the third period when he wound up for a slap shot and scored his first goal of the season.
With a second victory against San Jose and after what seemed to be a relatively easy victory for the ‘Hawks it makes one wonder who will be able to give Chicago their first regulation loss of the year.
Some of the best teams from the Western Conference last year are some of the worst teams this year. The Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes are both at the bottom of their division as well as near the bottom in the conference. The Stanley Cup winning Kings and Western Conference finalist Coyotes are only at a .500 record this season and both beat already by Chicago.
Then Chicago got their first shutout since 2011 against the second place Nashville Predators; a notoriously strong defensive based team with star goalie Pekka Rinne and defenseman Shea Weber but with scoring power still behind Martin Erat and Colin Wilson.
With a shortened season all regular season games will be played within their own conference and could be an advantage for Chicago. Beating all the best in the west it may be longer until they lose a game in regulation.
Their next three games will be against the struggling Los Angeles Kings, who most California people have unfortunately probably forgotten about; the Vancouver Canucks; who are always on top in the conference but have the worst luck against Chicago; and then San Jose again.
Chicago should win at least two of these games, but if I were to pick one upset here it will be in favor of the Vancouver Canucks. Goaltender Roberto Luongo has been playing really and Henrik Sedin is now Vancouver’s all-time scoring leader.