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The Road To the Stanley Cup Always Stops in Detroit

SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 08:  Goalie Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings misses the game winning goal by Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on May 8, 2010 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Samantha CookeCorrespondent IMay 10, 2010

The Detroit Red Wings have just been ousted from the playoffs by the San Jose Sharks. They had an uphill battle to climb, needing to win four in a row to make it past the Sharks.

Detroit has long been on the top of the league and in the playoffs. They currently hold the longest active streak for all professional sports in making the postseason. The Red Wings have gone to the playoffs 19 years in a row and 25 out of the last 27 years.

The Red Wings have also won 11 Stanley Cups. While it sounds weird to say, the road to the Stanley Cup goes through Detroit.

This does not mean that Detroit is always in the finals, but there is an interesting statistic that the Red Wings have kept alive.

Since 2002, Detroit has either won the Stanley Cup, lost to the Stanley Cup Champion, or lost to the Stanley Cup Runner-up.

In 2002, Detroit won the Stanley Cup over Carolina. This is where the streak started. Obviously the road went through Detroit as they were in the finals.

New Jersey beat Anaheim in 2003 for the Cup. How does Detroit come in to the picture? Anaheim beat Detroit in the first round of the playoffs.

In 2004, Tampa Bay beat Calgary to win Lord Stanley's Cup. Calgary defeated Detroit in the second round of the playoffs.

Sense a pattern here?

There was no champion in 2005 due to the NHL Lockout.

That did not stop Detroit from continuing the streak in the playoffs in 2006. Carolina defeated Edmonton. Edmonton beat Detroit in the first round of the playoffs.

In 2007, Anaheim surprised a lot of people by winning the Cup over Ottawa. Before facing Ottawa, Anaheim ousted Detroit in the Western Conference Finals.

Detroit again won the Stanley Cup in 2008, so the road made a stop in Detroit and decided to live there for a year.

Last year, Pittsburgh defeated Detroit for the Stanley Cup.

What does this all mean? In the scheme of things, nothing really. This is simply an interesting statistic.

If this all holds true again this year though, San Jose is going to the Stanley Cup Finals.

People can argue that the reason San Jose will go to the Finals is because they are the best team in the West and held the best record in the West.

If they do go to the Finals, though, it will be another year that Detroit had a say in the Stanley Cup Finals Match-up.

It seems appropriate that one of the original six teams and a team that has won 11 Cups has this kind of presence in the playoffs.

Go San Jose—keep the streak alive!

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