No team in major professional sports has had more consecutive playoff appearances than the Detroit Red Wings. In fact nobody is even close. Detroit is at 20, San Jose is a distant second at seven years. Over those 20 years the Red Wings have managed to lift the Stanley Cup four times.
Widely regarded as the most difficult trophy to win in all of team sports, Lord Stanley's cup is the only acceptable result for the Hockeytown faithful.
To make a successful run towards hockey's ultimate prize, teams must put together a combination of grit, skill, luck and facial hair in order to get close to the promised land. While a hot goalie can steal a round or two, a third-liner can discover a hidden scoring touch or a timely goal can change a series.
Any combination of these can get your team engraved with hockey's immortals like Gretzky, Lemieux, Yzerman or Basil Pocklington.
The 2012 edition of the Wings has already put its stamp on the season with an NHL-record home-winning streak. However, the gang from Motown has their sights set on bigger and better things.
Adding more linen to the rafters at the cozy Joe Louis Arena is the only mission for Mike Babcock and Co. Hopefully, sometime in early June, Nick Lidstrom will begin his sojourn into retirement (and hockey immortality) by hoisting the fabled silver chalice over his head for the last time.
Here's how they'll get there: