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Red Wings stand alone with 21 consecutive home wins

Feb 14, 2012, 10:03 PM EDT

Dallas Stars v Detroit Red Wings Getty Images

Nitpickers can quibble about shootout wins all they want, but the Detroit Red Wings’ run of home dominance is now unmatched in NHL history.

Detroit extended its winning streak at Joe Louis Arena to an astounding 21 games, passing the 1929-30 Boston Bruins and 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers in the process. It was a tight game with the Dallas Stars, but the Red Wings pulled out a 3-1 win after taking an early 2-0 lead.

The natural next step is to compare the Red Wings’ run to the best that have occurred in other sports. In case you’re wondering, here are the all-time leaders in the “Big Four.” (H/T to Greg Wyshynski)


1995-96 Chicago Bulls
37 wins


1971-74 Miami Dolphins
27 wins*


1978 Pittsburgh Pirates and 1988 Boston Red Sox
24 wins


2011-12 Red Wings
21 wins (and counting?)

Stay tuned for more on this impressive achievement, including a look at how the Red Wings could make their already-amazing streak that much tougher to top.

* – Beat up those Dolphins teams for drinking champagne whenever the last undefeated NFL team loses if you want, but they had a ridiculous run. Their streak might be the most amazing of all since it was one game short of two full seasons in those days.

  1. eddieapoc - Feb 14, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    I can’t believe they actually did it. This record is going to stand for awhile. This team is much better then I thought they would be heading into this season.

    Way to go Red Wings!

    • ponsonbybritt - Feb 14, 2012 at 10:32 PM

      Now if they could bottle that stuff and take it on the road with them…

  2. lostpuppysyndrome - Feb 14, 2012 at 10:45 PM

    I grudgingly tip my hat, Wings.

  3. stakex - Feb 14, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Congratz to the Red Wings.

    While I do believe this record does not at all compare to a team winning 20 consecutive games before the shootout (in those days, Detroits streak would have ended three times already), its still an amazing feat.

    • uplionsfan - Feb 14, 2012 at 11:07 PM

      You also need to factor in the fact that when the Bruins and Flyers did it, there wasn’t a salary cap creating parity that now allows a bottom team in the standings to beat a top team in the standings on any given night! (like Columbus over the Blues tonight) The parity today makes this feat much more difficult then the days of the Bruins and Flyers, even with a shootout involved!! For the record, I hate the shootout!

      • stakex - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:24 AM

        While that might be true to some degree, its not as drastic as you seem to think it is. A team at the bottom of the standings back then COULD beat a team at the top on any given night. Sure Columbus beat the 4th ranked Blues tonight… but with 17 wins in 57 games thats more of a “blind squirls still find nuts from time to time” scenario, then it is a result of the salery cap. Even in the cap world you still have really good teams, and really bad teams. Thats just the way of sports in general and its a myth that the salery cap makes bad teams better. It just allows smaller markets to compete with the big boys.

        In fact, your point actually works against what your saying. If your point is that top teams were so much better back then, the Bruins and Flyers might have had easy picking on the weaker teams… but would have also had to play against other teams that were stacked. Detroit on the other hand had to play against more balanced teams by your logic. In the end, it would have still worked out to be about just as hard to win 20 games in a row at home.

        The bottom line is still that, while this is very impressive, its soiled by the fact Detroit would have had this streak end three times under the old rules. We can argue about how hard it was to do back then, and how hard it is to do now… but the only fact is that back then Detroit would not have had a 21 game winning streak and thus its not as impressive.

      • cmutimmah - Feb 15, 2012 at 9:26 AM

        I love people just trying to take away anything they can from the Wings. It’s in the record books. No astrisk. So zip your lip. 21 and counting.

      • polegojim - Feb 15, 2012 at 10:17 AM

        @ cmutimmah – AMEN!

        @skatek – Doesn’t have to be ‘drastically true’, ‘simply true’ will do. When other teams start matching this, your point might be valid. There’s a reason it hasn’t been done more than 3, 3, 3 times in the HISTORY of the NHL… oh wait – 1 time in the history of the NHL, under any circumstance.

        Every other NHL team has had the exact same opportunity- same rules, same # of games in a season, and last time I checked-they all have ‘Home Ice’…. without the same result.

        Qualify all you want, we’ll win more.

    • rca26 - Feb 14, 2012 at 11:07 PM

      Not a Wings fan in the slightest but the hard cap makes this one more impressive in my opinion.

    • wingnut28 - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:04 AM

      The Bruins had 2 OT wins in their home streak. 10 minute non-sudden death OT period back then until WW2. The real impressive thing about their streak is that they only played 22 home games for the whole season. They won the first, lost the second and then won the last 20. Philly does it with no OT at all. All 3 are impressive, just glad the Wings hold the record now.

  4. espnhater - Feb 14, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    21 and counting. I’m predicting 23 in a row. If the Wings lose to anybody I guess it can be the Canucks. I really don’t want to see Nashville or San Jose win in the Joe, it doesn’t even snow in those places. (on a constant basis)

    • predswilrule - Feb 14, 2012 at 11:00 PM

      it ends friday and it snowed last night.

    • gekkoguy82 - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:37 AM

      Gotta give Nashville some respect. They’re playing solid and getting stellar goaltending. Will be a tough game Friday. Certainly winnable, obviously, but a very, very difficult test. Joey will have to out-duel Rinne, which is no easy feat even for Howie.

      Also, whether or not is snows in an NHL city is kind of a goofy rationale for not wanting someone to win in our building…It could snow 6 feet in Denver or Toronto every thirty seconds and it wouldn’t make them winning at the Joe any more palatable, or a quality loss, or anything. The whole general malaise thing expressed towards non-traditional market teams for stupid reasons like a lack of snow is really wearing thin, imho.

  5. AlohaMrHand - Feb 14, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Feb 19 the streak comes to an end. LETS GO SHARKS!

    • polegojim - Feb 15, 2012 at 12:04 AM

      Maybe… it has to end some time… but… when the Sharks win ONE Stanley Cup or 21 home games in a row at the Tank, then we might even be bothered.

      Until then… Awesome Job RED WINGS!!!

    • michflaguy - Feb 15, 2012 at 10:49 AM

      The Wings will be eating SUSHI on Feb. 19th !!!!

  6. Jeff - Feb 15, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    The next three home games are going to be particularly tough for the Red,Wings.

  7. mrskunitzdrippinlips - Feb 15, 2012 at 6:05 AM


    • cmutimmah - Feb 15, 2012 at 9:28 AM

      LOL – yes, there it is… there’s always one doucher in the crowd… congrats on being this crowd’s doucher.

    • fishtacos4me - Feb 15, 2012 at 10:34 AM

      Totally agree with this comment. This “record” wont amount to much when the Dead Wings are hitting the golf course in May.

      • michflaguy - Feb 15, 2012 at 10:42 AM

        Keep dreamin’ “Fish”-man…the Wings are powered UP this year.

      • fishtacos4me - Feb 15, 2012 at 10:53 AM

        Come back in May after they have been eliminated.

        You must think that all playoff games are held at home, that there is no law of averages, and that they are not huge targets going forward. Despite your feeling that they are “powered UP”, fact is they will go nowhere in the playoffs.

  8. florida727 - Feb 15, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    Tough to compare different eras, so give the Wings the credit they’ve EARNED. What about NBA scoring records with the 3-point line v. without the 3-point line? What about field goal kicking when the goalposts were on the goal line v. at the back of the end zone? What about homerun hitting in MLB with the constant changing of ballpark dimensions? How many points in college would “Pistol” Pete Maravich have scored if they had a 3-point line back then (and he still averaged 44 ppg WITHOUT it)?

    You have to give credit to what Wings have done WHEN THEY DID IT. They did it in the timeframe and within the rules they’ve been given to play in. Can’t diminish the accomplishment because the did NOT have some rules in the past (ie. the shootout).

    • michflaguy - Feb 15, 2012 at 10:46 AM

      So true ‘florida727’…and well said. That whole “asterisk” argument is for d0uches who are just jealous that THEIR team didn’t set a record!

  9. michflaguy - Feb 15, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    Well…that was easy.
    NOW let’s concentrate on the playoff run!!!

    • fishtacos4me - Feb 15, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      Typical Wings fanboy. You really don’t have an understanding of hockey do you?

      1 – I am sure it wasn’t easy for them, but seeing as you probably sit on your couch for more than half your day, everything is easy for you.

      2 -Explain how they should concentrate on the playoff run for us. Show us your coaching and motivation tactics.

      and 3 – It will be fun to see how long before you jump off the bandwagon once their playoff weaknesses are exposed.

      • polegojim - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:31 PM

        @fishtaco – who doesn’t have an understanding of hockey???

        I’ll still be here even if they are eliminated – where will you be if they win???

        Red Wings don’t own a bandwagon, but we realize why fans of other teams think that.

        Your comments sound like you think we’d be ashamed if the Red Wings don’t win the Cup???

        Not even remotely — Here’s a reminder –

        21 straight years including this year, in the playoffs – and ALL THOSE STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONSHIPS

        They’ve lost more cups than most teams have even appeared in.

  10. jimeejohnson - Feb 15, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    I’m not a Red Wing fan but I like them if my local team isn’t in the playoffs because they epitomize class. Not that other champions don’t. The Detroit Red Wings have certainly shown up the San Jose Sharks in the post season. There are good teams and there are GREAT teams. To be great, you must at least play for the Cup, let alone win it.

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