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Red Wings clinch 21st playoff berth in a row

Mar 26, 2012, 10:33 PM EDT

Valtteri Filppula AP

In a way, it only makes sense that the Detroit Red Wings clinched a playoff berth for the mind-blowing 21st time in a row by demolishing the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-2. That disparity makes many statements, but the most telling one is that the Red Wings make it easy, but the Blue Jackets prove that it’s not.

An incredible legacy

Because of the lockout, that means the Red Wings have made the playoffs every season since they finished fifth in the Norris in 1989-90. To give you some perspective on that accomplishment, Detroit hasn’t missed the playoffs in Taylor Hall‘s lifetime.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets have made one playoff appearance since their franchise was founded and remain without a single postseason victory.

It brings about all kinds of questions. Is Detroit’s two-decade reign of dominance the most impressive in the history of salary cap sports (there’s a serious argument)? Considering the fact that the Red Wings didn’t have the significant advantages of teams from the Montreal Canadiens’ days, is this the greatest run for any NHL team considering context?

The immediate future

Those are all interesting – if totally subjective – debates to have, but the more immediate question is: how much of an impact can the Red Wings make this year?

The St. Louis Blues look pretty close to wrapping up the Central Division at this point, but that doesn’t mean the Red Wings have little to fight for. Considering Detroit’s jarring disparity in home vs. road work,* a likely first round series against the Nashville Predators would be significantly easier if the Red Wings captured the fourth seed.

Sure, it’s been an up-and-down season in which the Red Wings (seemingly) have shown their age a bit based on the injuries that are piling up, but even now, it would be a bad idea to count out Detroit.

Teams haven’t been able to do that for more than two decades, after all.

* – The Red Wings are 30-5-2 at home and 16-20-3 on the road.

Here are highlights of the game, which are heavy on beautiful Red Wings goals:

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  1. 2dollarpbrs - Mar 26, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    Congrads to Gustav Nyquist on his first NHL goal

    6 points in the last 7 games, you can’t send this kid back down!!

    • bensawesomeness - Mar 26, 2012 at 10:57 PM

      He makes things happen on the ice – i like him alot

    • polegojim - Mar 27, 2012 at 1:03 PM

      Amen – make sure the future is bright, while the experience still shares the bench.

      The major issue with Avs – ZERO leadership with all that young talent. The few ‘aged in place’ players they have don’t have the stones to set things right. That includes Hejduk – good player, zero leadership.


  2. howardforvezina - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Go Wings! Wings-Panthers finals in my opinion. Do not count them out. Age is just a number.

  3. east96st - Mar 27, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    “That disparity makes many statements, but the most telling one is that the Red Wings make it easy, but the Blue Jackets prove that it’s not.”

    So, in 20-20 hindsight, we can conclude that an NHL owner hiring his family’s stockbroker, who had no hockey or any professional sports background, as his team’s President was a poor idea. Honestly, who saw that coming? As much as Detroit fans must be laughing, and who can blame them, just remember one moron for an owner can lead to decisions that can bring your entire franchise crashing to the ground. Just look southward for proof.

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