With the Columbus Blue Jackets on the verge of a historic accomplishment, here's the most important information you need to know about their winning streak.
One victory shy of the record
The Blue Jackets have won 16 games in succession, one short of the NHL single-season record held by the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins.
Columbus’ streak began Nov. 29 with a home victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Blue Jackets have beaten 14 teams (Arizona and Edmonton twice) and have outscored their opponents 62-27 (not including two goals awarded for shootout wins). In 2015-16, the Blue Jackets didn’t earn their 16th win of the season until Jan. 13.
Columbus’ chance to tie the record comes Thursday at the Capitals, against whom the Blue Jackets have a 2-0-0 record this season.
If the Blue Jackets get to 17 in a row, they will have a chance to break the record Saturday against the New York Rangers, who fired Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella after the 2012-13 season.
The start of the Blue Jackets’ streak seems like a memorable event. Here are some of the other developments in sports that day:
Oregon fired football coach Mark Helfrich
LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers was ejected in a two-overtime loss to the New Jersey Nets
During the streak
Thanks to the Elias Sports Bureau, we know the following about the Blue Jackets’ streak.
Overall, they have led for 60.8 percent of the time, have been tied for 32.0 percent and have trailed for 7.3 percent (rounding accounts for the percentages not adding exactly to 100 percent).
In the third period, the Blue Jackets have led for 77.6 percent of the time, have been tied for 16.9 percent and have trailed for 5.5 percent.
The only time they trailed in the third period was against the Coyotes (who have the second-fewest points in the NHL) on Dec. 3, the third game of the streak. Columbus trailed for the first 17:44 of the third period.
The Blue Jackets are scoring 3.9 goals per game and allowing 1.7 goals per game.
Their power play is 15-for-53 (28.3 percent), which matches their season-long -- and league-leading -- power-play percentage. The penalty kill is 39-for-49 (79.6 percent), which would rank in the lower third of the league for the season.
They have scored the first goal in 11 of the 16 games.
Who saw this coming?
The Blue Jackets lost their first two games of the season, bringing back memories of last season, when they opened with eight straight losses. Coach Todd Richards was replaced by Tortorella after the seventh of those losses. Columbus finished 34-40-8 in 2015-16, missing the playoffs for the 13th time in 15 seasons.
From the 2000-01 season (when the Blue Jackets entered the NHL) through 2015-16, they had the lowest points percentage in the league (.467).
Bobrovsky is the only current Blue Jackets player who has won a major NHL award (2012-13 Vezina Trophy as top goaltender). Tortorella re-joined the team in late September after guiding Team USA to three consecutive losses and a quick exit in the World Cup of Hockey.
Contrast that with the 1992-93 Penguins. They were the two-time reigning Stanley Cup champions. They won 17 consecutive games from March 9 to April 10 before tying in their season finale.
Those Penguins outscored their opponents 96-48 during the streak, scoring 10 goals twice and scoring at least five in 10 of the 17 games. Coached by Scotty Bowman, they had Mario Lemieux, Ron Francis, Joe Mullen, Larry Murphy (all Hall of Famers) and a future Hall of Famer in Jaromir Jagr. That Penguins team was upset by the New York Islanders in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
How the betting world has reacted
According to Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, the Blue Jackets opened with 30-1 odds to win the Stanley Cup this season. Those odds were 60-1 on Nov. 28 (the day before the streak began) and are 10-1 now (tied for the fifth-best odds of any team).
The Blue Jackets have made the playoffs twice in their history, losing to the Red Wings (four games) in 2009 and Penguins (six games) in 2014. The Ohio State football team has won as many national championships since 2000 as the Blue Jackets have won playoff games (two apiece).