Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press wrote a nice piece detailing why the Red Wings deserve credit this year.
For the past five seasons, all 30 teams have had the same limit on how much could be spent on putting together a contender. In that same span, three clubs — that’s 10% of the league — have managed to forge teams that made the playoffs every year.
Detroit is one of those. San Jose and New Jersey are the others. The Wings are the only ones in the group within those five years to have won a Stanley Cup (in 2008) and then return to the finals the following spring. In contrast, this is the first year the Sharks have made it out of the second round. The Devils made it to the second round in ’06 and ’07 and since have exited in the first round every year.