Fox Sports has a nice slide show up discussing which ongoing streak is more impressive at this time, the Miami Heat’s 16 wins in a row in the NBA or the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks 24 straight games with netting at least one point. Here is some of that piece:
The Heat are one of the stingiest defensive teams in the league, and they've been especially stout during this run. Miami has held its opponents to fewer than 100 points 11 times during the 16 games. The Heat really clamped down on their Eastern Conference rival, holding the Bulls to 67 points — a low during the streak — on Feb. 21. The Heat are holding opponents to 94.9 points per game, nearly two points below their season average (96.3), and have won 10 of the 16 games by 10 points or more.
It's tough enough for opponents to deal with Chicago's offensive speed and agility, but then they have to figure out a way to get the biscuit past goaltenders Corey Crawford (left) and Ray Emery. The 'Hawks have not one but two goaltenders in the top four in goals-against average and save percentage. While neither was anything special last season, they've been tough to beat in 2013. Crawford is 11-0-3 — losing the three shootout contests — with a 1.53 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage, while Emery is 10-0-0 with a 2.02 GAA and a .925 save percentage. So it's no surprise the 'Hawks have won 13 one-goal games during this remarkable stretch. Birdman is a shot-blocking fiend, but no one on Miami defends the goal like these guys.
In my estimation, the Hawks streak is more impressive (with all do respect to the Heat) for two main reasons.
- There is much more parody in the NHL this season than there is in the NBA. In the NHL, you can make an argument that a dozen teams could win the Stanley Cup while only a handful of teams look like they have a shot the winning the NBA crown.
- Everyone knew the Heat were really, really good (as they are the defending World Champions). With the Hawks, sure they were expected to be a top tier team this season but they were not projected to be the ‘best’.