Currently the NHL Chicago Blackhawks have a record of eleven wins, no losses and 3 overtime losses. They are undefeated in regulation time. The NHL has no word for this. Yet. Perhaps this post will make a difference.
It was a few years back when the NHL got rid of the old wins, losses and ties system in hockey. The problem was in the ties. Sure when everything is on the line, the playoffs, the NHL has always had overtime decisions. And when it is important, the fans might stick around through 2 or even three overtime periods to find out what happens. Not so for the regular season.
But sports fans seem not to like the wishy washiness of a tie. Eventually the NHL settled on a system of five minute overtimes in the event of a tie. If the game was still undecided it would boil down to a shootout, like European hockey. Still it was thought to be something if a team made it to overtime with a tie. As a result a team is given one point for an overtime loss and the other team gets the win and the two points.
This results in that odd overtime loss column in the stats for hockey.
In the old win, loss, and tie regime, a team can cobble together an undefeated streak if it manages to avoid the losses and have only wins and ties. The Philadelphia Flyers of 1979-1980 managed the longest undefeated streak in the NHL at 35 games. A Philadelphia fan pointed out to me that this record was bound to last forever since the NHL changed the system. I agreed at the time.
Back then we were both wrong. It’s possible that a modern team could get very lucky and put together a win streak of 36 games. This would also count as an unbeaten streak and might one day unseat the Flyers. Still I expect this Flyers record to last a really, really long time.
But what can we call the current streak of the Chicago Blackhawks? A wins and only pointed losses streak? An unbeaten in regulation time time streak? An old rules unbeaten streak (since overtime and shootouts wouldn’t happen with the old rules)?
I would prefer a one word concise definition just like when we could use the word unbeaten to describe the streak. Maybe we can steal the idea of a mega precise compound word from the Germans? How about wonpointloss streak? Unbeatregtime streak? Oruleunbeat streak?
I prefer unbeatregtime, because you can figure out its meaning the easiest.
Whatever you call the streak, the Chicago Blackhawks are having it right now.