The Detroit Red Wings enjoyed 25 consecutive years playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Now, they'll be watching from home for the second consecutive year.
Following Thursday night's 1-0 setback at Little Caesars Arena to the Washington Capitals, they were officially eliminated from playoff contention. This will be just the second time since a period when Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan served as President of the United States (1979-83) that the team has missed the annual tournament more than once in a row. It's also the first time they've missed twice in a row under the Ilitch ownership.
A 1-10-1 stretch in their past 12 officially sealed their fate, though they refuse to simply lay down and roll over.
"Every chance we have to put on the Detroit Red Wings logo, we want to go out and do the best we can," captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "I think we've been doing that. But again, it's hard when we're really trying hard and we keep losing games."
In what's become the story of the season, Detroit, had plenty of chances, but weren't able to capitalize. They weren't able to convert on a full two minute, 5 on 3 man advantage or on a breakaway from speedy forward Andreas Athanasiou.
However, the more the team loses, the better odds they have of winning the draft lottery for a high draft selection - the only silver lining in an otherwise second straight dreary season.
Detroit Red Wings MIKE GREEN (D) TO HAVE SURGERY, MISS REST OF YEAR
Defenseman Mike Green will have surgery to repair his cervical spine, ending his season.
His injury is likely what caused an almost certain trade to a contending team to fall through. He's in the final year of a three-year contract and is poised to become an unrestricted free-agent this summer.
He missed seven games from Feb. 17-28 and returned March 2 and played in 10 games. He re-aggravated the injury in practice on Wednesday.