The Detroit Red Wings are going to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 25th consecutive season. Their streak of postseason appearances would be a record in Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the National Basketball Association, but it's tied for the third-longest in NHL history.
The Boston Bruins, whose 6-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday put the Red Wings into the playoffs, hold the NHL record for consecutive appearances; Boston qualified for 29 straight seasons, from 1968-1996. They won the Stanley Cup twice during that streak, in 1970 and 1972.
Boston's streak is one season longer than that of the Chicago Blackhawks, who advanced to the Final three times but lost each time during their run of 28 consecutive postseason trips from 1970-97.
The Red Wings have won the Cup four times since their streak began in 1991. They are tied with the St. Louis Blues, who qualified for the playoffs in every season from 1980-2004, but didn't get to the Final during that span.
In contrast, the Montreal Canadiens won eight championships during their run of 24 consecutive playoff appearances from 1971-94, including four in a row from 1976-79.
Of the other major sports, only the NBA has had a team qualify for the playoffs as many as 22 consecutive seasons. The Syracuse Nationals qualified from 1950-63, then extended their streak through 1971 after the franchise moved to Philadelphia and became the 76ers. The San Antonio Spurs own the longest current streak; this will be their 19th consecutive year in the playoffs.
The Atlanta Braves hold the record in baseball with 14 consecutive appearances. The Braves made the playoffs from 1991-93 and again from 1995-2005; the 1994 postseason was canceled by the players' strike. The New York Yankees are next with 13 consecutive appearances, from 1995-2007.
No NFL team has reached double figures in consecutive playoff appearances, though the Cleveland Browns made the championship game every year from 1950-55 after doing so during each of their four seasons in the All-American Football Conference. The Dallas Cowboys (1975-83) and Indianapolis Colts (2002-10) hold the NFL record with nine straight postseason appearances. The New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers have the longest active streaks; they've made the playoffs in each of the past seven seasons.