Although it was far from the certainty that it has been in years past, last night the Detroit Red Wings clinched their 23rd consecutive playoff berth. With the victory, the Red Wings maintained the longest active playoff appearance streak in any major American professional sport, and officially surpassed the longest playoff appearance streak in NBA history, which is held by the Syracuse Nationals, who eventually became the Philadelphia 76ers -- that team made the playoffs 22 consecutive seasons between 1950 and 1971.
Nine players on the current Red Wings roster were 2 years-old or younger the last time Detroit wasn't involved in the post-season. Indeed Brendan Smith, Brian Lashoff, Danny Dekeyser, Tomas Tatar, Riley Sheahan, Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Jurco, Luke Glendening and Joakim Andersson were all too young to even begin having dreams about playing in the NHL.
To provide more context about how impressive the Wings streak has been, I've compiled a list of things that were relevant in 1990, the last time the team missed the NHL playoffs.
Wilson Phillips was the top of Billboard's Hot 100
Home Alone was the nation's top grossing movie
Everyone was pretty jazzed about the release of Windows 3.0
Nintendo released the first ever Gameboy
A gallon of gas was $1.16, and that was considered pretty expensive
Dances With Wolves won Best Picture
Dennis Rodman was playing for the Pistons
Buster Douglas upset a 22 year-old Mike Tyson to become the heavyweight champion of the world
The Simpsons were in the midst of their first season
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GM released the first Saturn
Twin Peaks premiered on ABC
And hockey legend Scotty Bowman had not yet even become the head coach of the Red Wings. He would lead them to their first Stanley Cup victory in 42 years in 1997.