The Detroit Red Wings have made the NHL playoffs for 23 straight seasons. That means that the last time the Red Wings have missed the playoffs would be 1989-90. To put this into perspective, 8 current players on the Red Wings had not been born yet (Joakim Andersson, Luke Glendening, Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar, Danny Dekeyser, Brian Lashoff, and Brendan Smith).
The reasons the Wings have been able to accomplish such a task are vast, but the foundation remains the same. This foundation is composed of integrity, respect, and dedication. The Red Wings management has always provided the coaching staff with players who love to play the game and have a team-first approach. I should also stop here to say that they've had their luck with great coaches as well.
While the Red Wings have been lucky enough to sign marquee free agents during their streak such as Luke Robitaille and Brett Hull (2000-01), they've also had years where critics have questioned their talent. This past year (2013-14) has been one of those years. During this last year the Wings have dealt with many injuries to star players where we saw players like Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss, both recent acquisitions, have injuries that created several roster and line changes.
Would this year be the year the Red Wings lose their playoff streak? Of course not. The younger players that the Red Wings had developed stepped up and filled holes in the lineup gaps that injuries had created. We saw Tomas Tatar play great hockey along with 22 year old Riley Sheahan.
Without any notable free agent signing so far this summer, many critics are back to question the talent on the Red Wings current roster. Listen, the Red Wings will not miss the playoffs because they have expectations of their players to perform at the best of their ability. The systems that are set in place from the coaching staff ensure that no matter what player they send out on the ice will be able to be successful.
The Red Wings have been criticized for how long they develop their younger players as well as the lack of moves they make during the off-season, but one thing they have not been criticized for is the 23 seasons straight of making the playoffs.