NEWARK, N.J. -- The Detroit Red Wings were in the same situation last year as they are now. They were facing pressure to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs, to extend their record streak of postseason appearances, without much time to make sure it happened.
The Red Wings eventually had to win their final four regular-season games and get some help to make the playoffs for a 22nd straight season, but they pulled it off with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk in the lineup.
Zetterberg and Datsyuk are watching these days, out of the lineup with injuries, so if Detroit is going to extend its playoff streak to 23 seasons, it will have to rely on something it hasn't had much patience for in previous seasons: youth.
"I think it's intriguing," Red Wings veteran defenseman Niklas Kronwall said Tuesday, a few hours before Detroit lost 4-3 to the New Jersey Devils. "The way these [young] guys have played, the way they have stepped up since getting the chance, it's great to see the confidence. They just want more and more."