Sweden extended its preliminary-round winning streak at the World Junior Hockey Championship to 44 games with a 4-3 shootout win over Russia on Sunday. The run has now spanned over 11 years.
Unfortunately for the Swedes, perfection in the round robin hasn't always translated to success in the medal rounds. During the streak, they've won gold just once - in 2012 - and haven't finished on the podium since 2014.
However, with 17-year-old phenom Rasmus Dahlin leading the way on the back end, Sweden are certainly well-equipped to end their gold-medal drought.
After dropping yet another game Saturday - the fifth time this month the Senators have been shut out - winger Mark Stone wasn't short on criticisms for the struggling squad.
"We're coming to the rink working hard. I don't think its work ethic. I think it's stupidity more than anything ... stupidity and frustration," Stone told Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Citizen.
"This needed to stop about (six weeks) ago. We've put ourselves in a hole that we're going to need a fantastic run and we're going to need help."
Saturday's 5-0 defeat to the Boston Bruins marked the Senators' fourth loss in their last six outings as the team has now skidded to second last in the East.
Earlier this season, the Senators pulled off a blockbuster deal to acquire center Matt Duchene from the Colorado Avalanche in hopes of building on last year's lineup that came one goal shy of advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals.
But Ottawa has been anything but successful since bringing in Duchene.
Including Saturday, the Senators have won just six of 23 games since adding Duchene. While he's not entirely at fault, the veteran isn't without blame either, as he's registered just three goals and three assists since arriving in the Canadian capital.
To make matters worse, Saturday's contest was played before a sellout crowd at the Canadian Tire Centre. It's been difficult to draw fans to Kanata this season, while those paying witness to the shellacking may need more convincing to make the trip more often.
Now 12 points back of a playoff position, a repeat of last year's postseason thriller looks like a longshot for the Senators.
The math isn't on our side for this one, as the league's leading goal-scorer, Nikita Kucherov, is on pace for only 53. Kuch has just one goal in his last five games, but we fully expect him to regain his early-season form, back when he was converting at almost a goal-per-game clip.
There haven't been consecutive American Calder winners since Chris Drury and Scott Gomez did it back in 1999 and 2000, respectively. But that all changes with Boeser, who is rapidly proving to be the real deal.
Now, this prediction may not be as bold as the others, given the amount of young Americans who are setting the league on fire, but the feat is still impressive. Take a look at the U.S.-born players who are currently in the top 10 in rookie scoring.
Brock Boeser (Canucks)
Clayton Keller (Coyotes)
Alex DeBrincat (Blackhawks)
Kyle Connor (Jets)
Will Butcher (Devils)
With that level of quality already in the NHL, and the USA Hockey National Team Development Program churning out high-end talent on the regular, the Calder might be calling America home for the foreseeable future.
NHL witnesses a changing of the guard
As the league continues its trend toward being "a young man's game," we are set to lose some of the favorite faces of our beloved sport.
But as these legends exit due to mounting injuries and expiring contracts in the ruthlessly unfair fight against Father Time, a new batch of stars is set to carry the torch for the next generation.
Rasmus Dahlin struggles in his first North American season
This is perhaps the boldest prediction on the list, as Dahlin has looked to be the complete package. The 17-year-old Swede is currently enjoying another solid season (five goals and six assists in 26 games) for Frolunda of the SHL, a respectable pro league filled with quality players.
But it's not the NHL.
The smooth-skating blue-liner undoubtedly possesses the type of talent and size - 6-foot-2, 180-plus pounds - to compete in North America, but he will struggle to adapt to the smaller rinks and more aggressive style of NHL hockey.
And it's worth mentioning that if he ends being drafted by the Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres, or Ottawa Senators, the three teams currently in line to receive the No. 1 overall pick, his struggles could be precipitated by having to anchor one of the worst blue lines in the game.
Despite the Oilers finally starting to figure it out (6-3-1 in their last 10), the Jets and Leafs are Canada's best shot at a Cup. The last time Lord Stanley's chalice was hoisted by a team from north of the border was in 1993 when the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Los Angeles Kings in five games.
Aside from both the Leafs' and Jets' strong positioning in the standings, each club also boasts talented lineups loaded with the kind of offensive talent needed to make a deep playoff run - Toronto and Winnipeg sit third (130) and fourth (128) in total goals scored, respectively.
It may be a long shot, but it's not out the question: The Cup resides in the north for 2018.
The Great White North won its third consecutive title at the Spengler Cup Sunday, defeating Team Switzerland 3-0 in the final round.
Zach Boychuk, Maxim Noreau, and David McIntyre provided the offense for Canada, while netminder Kevin Poulin turned aside 36 shots for the shutout.
A typically under-the-radar tournament, this year's entry was used as a tool to help Canada construct its lineup for the upcoming Winter Olympics.
With NHL players not participating in Pyeongchang, Team Canada will be made up of minor-league pros and those toiling in Europe, many of whom competed on this year's Spengler Cup squad.
One player who made an impression was Noreau, who led Team Canada in scoring, as he picked up a goal and four assists through four games, including two points Sunday. The former member of the Minnesota Wild currently plays for SC Bern of the Swiss National League.