One year ago, the Canucks ended the Red Wings' 23-game home winning streak, which set the NHL record.

On Sunday, a rival across 10 decades, the Blackhawks, arrives at Joe Louis Arena intent on continuing the streak that established the NHL record for consecutive games without a loss in regulation at the start of a season. It currently sits at 21 games.

As they seek to further their recent resurgence, the Wings understand that while all wins are worth two points, some are bigger than others.

And this one would be big for a variety of reasons, including the Red Wings' ability to gauge their progress against the best in the NHL — and, in this case, the best by a lot.

"I watched them last night," Jimmy Howard said. "They looked good.

"They've got four lines that can roll out there, four lines that can put the puck in the net. All of their lines are contributing, right now.

"So it's going to be a big test for us. But I think everyone in here is pretty excited," Howard said of the dressing room in Joe Louis Arena, to which the team returned after rigorous, late-morning practice at City Sports Arena.

Adding to the flavor of this affair, the Red Wings and the Blackhawks have a long relationship of coincidences.