The last time the Red Wings missed the playoffs, most of the staff here at Wings Nation wasn’t even born. There’s a lot of other ways you could put the fact of them missing the playoffs in context as to how unusual it’d be, but there’s one you probably haven’t thought of yet.
Our own Sam Blazer tasked us with the question, “What can the Red Wings really gain by making the playoffs this year?” Without further ado, here’s a bevy of takes both hot and cold about what use it would be for the Wings to barely sneak in this year.
I don’t like the notion of the Red Wings missing the playoffs being a wake-up call for management. Over the 24-year playoff streak, this team has seen first-hand that all you have to do is get into the playoffs and you can make a difference. In 1994, 2001, 2003 and 2006 the Red Wings entered the playoffs as the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the Western Conference and were upset by the No. 7 or No. 8 seed. In each of those seasons, Detroit had over 100 points and were overwhelming First Round favourites. Missing the playoffs will maybe get us the 14th overall pick, but making the playoffs, you’ve earned a shot to win the Stanley Cup and if you get bounced early you might pick one spot later.
The end goal for every organization should always, always, be to win the Stanley Cup. If not this year, then the year after that, or the year after that.
Playoffs are awesome, don’t get me wrong. They’re a lot more awesome when your team is involved. But that being said, it’s already been eight years since this team last won the Cup, and seven since they were in the Finals. The last time this team won the Cup, George Bush was in office. It’s not a real drought, by any means, but this team isn’t exactly loaded with pieces that makes you think of them as an immediate contender. There’s definitely some solid young pieces and some seasoned veterans who’ve done it before, but there’s a reason this team’s on the bubble and not near the top of the league.
I’m a firm believer in doing anything and everything possible to make the playoffs every single year. If you’re a team with the personnel and ability to compete for the Stanley Cup, you do it. That’s the goal. Anything else, like tanking for a better pick, is all done with aforementioned long-term goal in mind.