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Red Wings’ 21-season playoffs streak is in jeopardy

Apr 14, 2013, 7:10 PM EDT

Datsyuk Zetterberg Getty Images

1989-90 was the last time the Detroit Red Wings failed to make the playoffs. Since then they’ve won four Stanley Cups over the course of 21 seasons.

Their postseason appearance streak has endured strikes, lockouts, the establishment of the salary cap, retirements, and coaching changes. As a franchise, Detroit has proven its resilience time and time again, but the 2013 version hasn’t done the same.

After losing three straight games — albeit with the last two defeats coming in shootouts – the Red Wings have slipped to ninth place in the Western Conference. They are tied with Dallas in terms of points, but the Stars hold the tiebreaker.

“Well, you should know that it’s a fairly urgent situation for us, but I think it’s been like that if you go through our whole year,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told “I’ve heard lots of times, ‘we’re inconsistent.’

“That’s not true. We’ve been the most consistent Red Wing team I’ve ever coached and if you look at every month we’re consistent but this is what we’ve been and we’ve been in the grinder since the start.”

Detroit will face the Nasvhille Predators tonight, who have been enduring their own share of hardships. The Predators almost certainly won’t make the playoffs, but at home and in Filip Forsberg’s debut, they won’t make things easy for the Red Wings.

  1. blackhawks2010 - Apr 14, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    Wings will be back,they have quality Ownership who are committed to winning. I will miss the rivalry with Detroit. Playing the East will be a cake walk, and make them a top 5 team instantly.

    • ethanmacleod1685 - Apr 14, 2013 at 9:56 PM

      Ill personally miss the sharks/wings rivalry

  2. steelers88 - Apr 14, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    Until they play the Penguins!

  3. jacketsfan7 - Apr 14, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    @steelers88 I agree 08-09 SCF between Detroit and Pittsburgh should add some spice to the games

  4. bensawesomeness - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    not having helm or bertuzzi really hurt us this shortened season, and to a lesser extent, sammeulson

    • nicktriple6 - Apr 15, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      And Nicklas Lidström

  5. 0ffsides - Apr 14, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    A little perspective; I was 17 and in my senior year of high school when the streak started. I’m now 40 and have witnessed 21 straight playoff seasons, a 62 win campaign, a couple Presidents trophies, 6 Cup Final appearances and 4 Stanley Cup Championships. Not a bad two decade plus run. All good things must come to an end, but it’s certainly not something Wings fans are accustomed too.

  6. ethanmacleod1685 - Apr 14, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    How is this not a top story every night on espn, wtf! That record is one of the best in sports history and I feel that there’s still a lot of people that don’t know about it. That streak is pure amazing, and a lot harder to accomplish compared to the other major sports.

    -Sharks fan

    • govtminion - Apr 14, 2013 at 10:33 PM

      Because it’s hockey, and ESPN only shows hockey highlights when they run out of things to say about Tim Tebow.

      • nicwel - Apr 14, 2013 at 11:37 PM

        Amen Brotha

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