Red Wings’ 21-season playoffs streak is in jeopardy

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1989-90 was the last time the Detroit Red Wings failed to make the playoffs. Since then they’ve won four Stanley Cups over the course of 21 seasons.

Their postseason appearance streak has endured strikes, lockouts, the establishment of the salary cap, retirements, and coaching changes. As a franchise, Detroit has proven its resilience time and time again, but the 2013 version hasn’t done the same.

After losing three straight games — albeit with the last two defeats coming in shootouts – the Red Wings have slipped to ninth place in the Western Conference. They are tied with Dallas in terms of points, but the Stars hold the tiebreaker.

“Well, you should know that it’s a fairly urgent situation for us, but I think it’s been like that if you go through our whole year,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told NHL.com. “I’ve heard lots of times, ‘we’re inconsistent.’

“That’s not true. We’ve been the most consistent Red Wing team I’ve ever coached and if you look at every month we’re consistent but this is what we’ve been and we’ve been in the grinder since the start.”

Detroit will face the Nasvhille Predators tonight, who have been enduring their own share of hardships. The Predators almost certainly won’t make the playoffs, but at home and in Filip Forsberg’s debut, they won’t make things easy for the Red Wings.