Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 2/13/12

PITTSBURGH - JUNE 09: Head coach Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings speaks to the media during a press conference after Game Six of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals at the Mellon Arena on June 9, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
DETROIT -- Even when theyre on the verge of history, the Detroit Red Wings keep their emotions cool and their perspective on winning the next game. With a victory over the Dallas Star on Tuesday night at the Joe Louis Arena, the Wings will set the NHLs all-time record for consecutive home victories at 21. They currently share the record at 20 victories with the 1929-30 Boston Bruins and the 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers. Anytime you can win 20 games in a row, youve done something, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. Thats just the facts. It's very difficult to do, and we feel fortunate because we need the points. Babcock points out that last season the Wings were terrific on the road and just so-so at home. Keeping that in mind, hes a bit surprise that this team in on the brink of making NHL history. Coming into this year, I wasnt sure if we were going to be in the playoffs or scratching and clawing to get into the playoffs," Babcock said. "I wasnt sure. This group has surpassed what I thought we were. Were a better team than I thought we were, so you reset your bar and keep pushing to be better, and thats what we continue to do. When asked why the Red Wings have exceeded his expectations Babcock replied, Howies (Jimmy Howard) better, Fils (Valtteri Filppula) better, Mules (Johan Franzen) better, Hudlers (Jiri Hudler) better, Kindls (Jakub Kindl) better, (Jonathan) Ericsson is better, Abbys (Justin Abdelkader) better. Lots of guys are better. Thats the growth of your team. "Z" (Henrik Zetterberg) has really kicked his game up as well. We seem to have really good depth. White has been a really good fit for us. There are a lot of reasons why were better. As the home streak progressed, Babcock and his players didnt discuss it or even think about it. If were up to Babcock, it wouldnt be brought up at all. I dont think anybody thought about it at all until yesterday (Sunday), and now because youve tied it, we have a chance to beat it tomorrow," he said. "I think thats where it kind of ends to be honest with you. We need two points tomorrow. Weve (the media and Babcock) talked way more about this (the streak). I havent talked to the guys one time about this." Whether the coach has talked to his team about the streak or not, it's still an extraordinary accomplishment. The Red Wings have reeled off 20 consecutive wins since Nov. 5. But the feat has some naysayers pointing out the differences in the NHL between now and the two other times a team won 20 straight at home. The Bruins and Flyers won their games under the old system, where their were ties; there wasnt an overtime or a shootout. Since their streak began, the Red Wings have won three home games in a shootout and one in overtime. Under the old NHL system of tie games, Detroit's streak would have ended at 12. It took a 3-2 shootout victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Jan. 14 to extend the streak to 13. You still have to win the games, whether its in overtime or a shootout, Red Wings captain Nick Lidstrom said. Its different rules now, so I guess well have to start a new record. It's still hard to win 20 games any way you look at it. Every game seems to be harder than when I broke into the league. You had expansion teams and teams that were not as strong, and now you have to show up every night. Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, who has sat out the last five games with a broken index finger, has was quick to dismiss the critics. A win is a win, no matter how you look at it," Howard said. "If it were this easy to do, there would be a lot more teams that wouldve done it. We play in an era where you have shootouts to determine a win. With the salary cap, the league is a lot more competitive. Teams are neck and neck. You see it every single night, the parity throughout the league. This feat is a pretty good one. "To win 20 at home, its pretty legit. Injury report Forward Johan Franzen did not practice Tuesday, but Red Wings fans should not be alarmed. Franzen was given practice off in what Babcock referred to as a maintenance day. Forward Dan Cleary continues to recuperate from his inflamed knee and still hopes to be back for Fridays game against Nashville. As far as Howard goes, hes still not ready to get back between the pipes. He's also has abandoned his experiment of cutting a wedge in his goalie stick to get a better grip on it and decrease the vibration on his broken right index finger. I went back to my old stick, said Howard, who still hopes to get back into action Friday. I dont like watching the games. I get too nervous just watching. "I spend most of the time just pacing down here (the dressing room). Luckily, it's a big enough area. Im not contained too much.
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