Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It's On the Line Tonight

You may ask "What's on the line, Buck?" And I would answer this:
Photo credit: White and Red Until I'm Dead
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.

The last time the Red Wings missed the playoffs was the 1989-90 season. 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 fighting for a spot in the last days of the regular season.

[...]

Where were you in April 1990? Where are you now? 

(YrHmblScrb's answer: I was in Dee-troit and I was a not-so-long suffering Wings fan, dating from 1985.  You know where I am now and a LOT o' water has gone under the bridge since 1990.)


[...]

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.
Those quotes?  They're from this article and you should RTWT if'n you're a hockey fan; it's REQUIRED reading if you're a Wings fan.  

So. Tonight it's the Kings at The Joe, tomorrow it's the Preds (at The Joe, again), and Saturday it's the Stars in Dallas.  We'll be there for all those games (well, in front of our teevee) and we WILL have our jersey on, our fingers crossed, and we'll be cheering, regardless of the outcome.  We're ONE point out of eighth place, as we speak... so this is entirely doable.

Here's hopin'.

H/t: the Usual Hockey Source.

6 comments:

  1. You know I'm a B's fan, not a Wings fan. Still, I'm also a fan of excellence. I want that streak to continue. Here's hoping.

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    1. Thanks, Jim... you're a good man!

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  2. OK, so here's today's esoterica, brought about by the photo.

    I saw Terry Sawchuk's number retired, and I thought, "Hmmmmm. I wonder if his number is retired with all of the teams for whom he played?"

    I made a quick check of the B's retired numbers. Nope. Sawchuck's number was not retired. No "What the hell?!?" on my part, as he only played for the B's for three seasons. I just thought, since he's a HOF player, maybe it had happened. But, in looking at the list of retired B's numbers, I see, much to my surprise, there's not a single goalie in the bunch. This is a team with (I think) six goaltenders that played for them, at one time or another, who are in the HOF. And three of those I can think of were with the team for at least ten years, were instrumental in securing Cup victories, and... well, hell. I guess they all must have peed on somebody's cornflakes before they retired.

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    1. Goalies generally don't get no respect, unless their names happen to be Roy or Brodeur (Or Sawchuk, in Detroit's case). I know I'm exaggerating... slightly... but it sure as hell seems that way. That's pretty weird about Boston, though... bein' an Original Six team.

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  3. Tonight, once again! Lather, rinse, repeat......

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    1. Yup! Good game last night... they really played well. May I have another, please?

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Just be polite... that's all I ask.