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.
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!