I use the term "we" because I am that guy. I am a fan who treats the Red Wings like they are a part of who I am and how I live my life. There are fan circles who detract others for using the royal "we" in reference to the team they support. My blog isn't affiliated with the Detroit Red Wings organization in any way. I've never met a player who plays for them. But I belong to a very large community online and offline that identifies with what the team represents and how they play the game. I've met a lot of great people who feel the same way about the Red Wings. This season, more than others, has brought our community together as the Red Wings struggled harder than they ever have to continue their playoff streak.
And they did it.
Twenty-two consecutive playoffs. It's an impressive feat, although nowhere near the record. For those curious, the longest postseason streak belongs to the Boston Bruins, who made it 29 seasons in a row before missing. Former Central Division rivals Chicago Blackhawks (28) and Saint Louis Blues (25) also have longer streaks, but during those streaks, neither team was capable of capturing the Stanley Cup. The Red Wings have been able to score six Stanley Cup finals appearances, four of which turned into championships.
The relief of continuing the streak has provided time for insight on the regular season and how to grade this team. I will be posting the second of the promised "The Good, Bad, and the Ugly" upon completion, but in the meantime, let's get to brass tacks and talk about the playoff series that begins on Tuesday evening.