DETROIT — To appreciate the streak – how long it has been, why it is incredible, what is at stake – stand inside the hallway that leads to the Detroit Red Wings’ dressing room and the Joe Louis Arena ice.
Lining the walls are simple wooden plaques and team pictures screwed into the cinderblock, one for each edition of the Wings since Mike Ilitch bought the franchise in 1982. Each plaque lists the season and the names of the executives, coaches, players and trainers. The bottom line is the record.
Start at 1989-90, the last Wings team to miss the playoffs. Walk past the door to the training room. Count 18 plaques in a row on the left (including the 2004-05 season erased by a lockout), and keep going. Keep going past the door to the dressing room, turn around at the entrance to the ice and come back up the other side. Count four more plaques.
The Wings are riding a 21-season playoff streak, the longest in pro sports. And now, for the first time in more than two decades, they are fightingRead More »from Red Wings' 21-season NHL playoff streak: An 'impossible' run that isn't over yet