The Detroit Red Wings popped off the bench and skated slowly toward goaltender Ty Conklin to congratulate him as if it was just another victory Monday night. Tomas Holmstrom scored two goals to help Detroit beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-2 and clinch a team-record 21st straight playoff appearance.
The Red Wings said it was easy to explain their reaction to extending their playoff streak, which is the best active run in professional sports and three times longer than any current one in the league.
“I think the bar is higher,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “That’s another thing we don’t think about. We just go out, we expect to be in the playoffs, but it is a nice record and hopefully we will keep it going for many years.”
The NBA’s San Antonio Spurs are expected to extend their playoff streak to 15 years; the Philadelphia Phillies have been in five straight postseasons in baseball; and the Baltimore Ravens have been in the NFL playoffs four consecutive years.
San Jose, the only team other than Detroit to be in the playoffs every year since the NHL lockout, has the second-longest postseason streak at seven, and that run is in jeopardy this season.
Detroit broke its franchise record of 20 straight years of reaching the playoffs, which was set from 1939 to ’58.
–Watch both of these goals, this is why the Red Wings are so dangerous.–
Video: Henrik Zetterberg sets up another jaw-dropper with a between the legs pass to Tomas Holmstrom.
Video: Henrik Zetterberg hooks up with Pavel Datsyuk via a blind pass, as Detroit opens up a 7-0 lead.