Benjamin Franklin once said, “There are only two certainties in life – death and taxes.” It seems as though Mr. Franklin left out a third certainty: the Detroit Red Wings advancing to the playoffs. Despite a challenging year filled with injuries, the Red Wings are back in the playoffs for the 23rd straight season.
Twenty-three years … can you believe it? A lot has happened in the last 23 years. Let’s take a look back in time to see some historic events that have taken place in each season the Wings have advanced to the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Note: Although there are 24 years listed below, the 2004–2005 NHL season was wiped out due to a work stoppage.
Nelson Mandela is released from prison in South Africa after 28 years.
The Internet is made available to unrestricted commercial use, and the number of computers on the net reaches 1 million.
Johnny Carson hosts “The Tonight Show” for the last time.
Bill Clinton becomes the 42nd president of the United States.
Major League Baseball players go on strike, leading to the cancellation of the postseason. It marks the first time since 1904 that the World Series isn’t played.
The criminal trial of O.J. Simpson opens in California.
eBay is launched.
Dennis Rodman is suspended indefinitely for kicking a cameraman.
An estimated 76 million viewers watch the last episode of Seinfeld.
Eminem releases “The Slim Shady LP,” his first major record album.
Tiger Woods becomes the youngest player to win the Grand Slam.
Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Americans spend $9.3 billion at the movie theater – a 10% increase over 2001 figures.
Annika Sorenstam becomes the first woman to play on the PGA TOUR in 58 years.
Martha Stewart is found guilty of four counts of obstructing justice and lying to investigators about a well-timed stock sale. She is sentenced to five months in prison.
Microsoft releases the Xbox 360 in North America.
The one billionth song is purchased from Apple iTunes.
The Mitchell Report shows that use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormones is rampant in Major League Baseball.
Danica Patrick becomes the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race (Indy Japan 300).
Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States.
Roy Halladay pitches the second no-hitter in MLB postseason history during Game 1 of the NLDS.
The royal wedding between Kate Middleton and Prince William takes place in the United Kingdom.
Apple claims a value of $600 billion, making it the largest company by market capitalization in the world.
Cyclist Lance Armstrong admits to using performance-enhancing drugs in an interview with Oprah.
There you have it. How many years do you think the Wings can keep the streak alive? Be sure to tune in tonight to watch Game 1 between the Wings and the Boston Bruins (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/TSN).
*Photo credit to Jef Hefner*