from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
No player in the NHL today was in the league the last time the Wings missed the playoffs. Nine of the franchises in the NHL today weren’t in the league the last time the Wings missed the playoffs.
The Wings’ oldest player, Todd Bertuzzi, was 15. The Wings’ youngest player, Dan DeKeyser, had just been born.
DeKeyser was born in Detroit on March 7, 1990. His earliest playoff memory is the Wings’ run to the Stanley Cup final in 1995. He followed their Cup victories in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008 and everything in between. When he played at the Joe for Western Michigan, he used to look at the names on the wall and soak up the history. He signed with the Wings as a free agent March 30....
An entire generation of Wings fans has grown up with playoff hockey as a rite of spring. Some Detroiters might even consider it a birthright. The Wings never came close to missing the playoffs the past 21 seasons. They finished in the top four in their conference 18 times, and they had a cushion of at least a dozen points the other three times. So many big names are on those plaques: Sergei Fedorov, Nicklas Lidstrom, on and on.
But playoff hockey is not a birthright in Detroit. It has just seemed to be.