Going for 100
Here's the team press release ...
The Detroit Red Wings are two points from reaching the 100-point mark for the eighth consecutive season, a run that would match the Montreal Canadiens' record streak from 1974-75 through 1981-82. The Red Wings can equal the Canadiens' historic achievement when they host the Dallas Stars tonight (HD Net, 7:30 p.m., ET).
The Red Wings upped their NHL-best record to 46-18-6 for 98 points Tuesday with a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. They hold a commanding 20-point lead in the Central Division and top the NHL overall standings by eight points in the race for the Presidents' Trophy as the NHL's top regular-season club, an award Detroit has captured five times in the past 12 seasons.
In addition, Detroit's next victory would clinch its seventh consecutive division title as well as a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 17th consecutive season, the longest active streak of qualifying for the postseason among the major pro sports.
The Red Wings began their 100-point streak in 1999-2000, posting a 48-22-12 record for 108 points and finishing second in the Central Division. In 2001-02, an already-strong lineup was bolstered by the addition of forwards Brett Hull, Pavel Datsyuk and Luc Robitaille, and goaltender Dominik Hasek. The Red Wings went 51-17-14 during the regular season and captured the Stanley Cup in a five-game triumph over the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Canadiens' streak surrounded one of the dynasties of the League's modern era, when the club captured four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1975-76 through 1978-79. In 1976-77, Montreal lost just eight times in the regular season (60-8-12) and swept the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final.
What both clubs' record streaks have in common is Hockey Hall of Fame head coach Scotty Bowman, who directed the Canadiens to the first five of their eight consecutive 100-point seasons -- including the four consecutive Stanley Cup championships -- and led the Red Wings in their first three seasons, including the Cup win in 2002.
Stability has been the hallmark of Detroit's success since 1999. Ken Holland has served in the Red Wings' front office since 1985 and has been the club's general manager since July, 1997. Assistant GM Jim Nill joined the front office in 1994. Five players -- defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Chris Chelios, and forwards Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby and Tomas Holmstrom -- have skated for the Red Wings in each of the past eight seasons. The roster's core of younger players, led by Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall, Brett Lebda, Valtteri Filppula and Jiri Hudler, have worn the red-and-white jersey throughout their NHL careers.