There's two NHL streaks that might end at the end of the month. Detroit Red Wings' 21 consecutive appearances in the playoffs and the Toronto Maple Leafs' seven year break from even attempting to break their consecutive years without winning a Stanley Cup. One of these two teams, as you could guess, is probably in a little better shape for the long haul. Hint: They don't wear blue.
Detroit still has a 65.8% of making the playoffs according to Sports Club Stats so they're still really in control of their own destiny. Meanwhile, Toronto having a 99.9% chance of making the playoffs which means they can still screw it up.
Let's go back in time and see what we remember about these two times in our history.
Toronto's last playoff game was May 4th, 2004. Losing 3-2 at the 7:39 mark of the first overtime to Robert Esche and the Phildelphia Flyers. That year's Stanley Cup Champion was the southern located Tampa Bay Lightning. But, no one was worried at the time with that flukey win. It's not like two or three more Southern located franchises were going to win Stanley Cups before a proud Canadian...wait? Really? Wow. Do you think Don Cherry's suits have gotten more outrageous over the past seven years as way of internalizing this?
Notable Event: May 4th was the first of 2 lunar eclipses that year. There's been 19 eclipses including 7 total eclipses since that day. If the Leafs somehow don't make the playoffs again there'll be another total eclipse coming up later in May to commemorate the event.
Top Pop Songs: At the time of the game Usher's song Burn was the top single in the US and was replaced the next weekend by Hoobastank's The Reason. Yeah, I don't remember them either.
Top of the Box Office: Opening on April 30th and topping the box office was the movie Mean Girls staring Lindsey Lohan before she began staring more in local Los Angeles Police Stations
than movies. The Maple Leafs were probably relieved to be out of the
playoffs in time to make the opening of the number one movie the
following weekend: the widely panned Van Helsing staring Hugh Jackman dressed up as Solomon Kane.
Top TV Shows: Lost, House M.D., Desperate Housewives, Entourage, Battlestar Galatica, and CSI: NY. So, it looks like the Television shows of 2004 held up a little better than the music and the movies of May 2004. It should be noted CSI: NY is unrelated to the forensice team that was looking into the reason Ottawa lost (again) in 7 games to their cross province rivals.
Going back to 1989-90 season, the Red Wings season ended on April 1st with a 3-3 tie also to the Philadelphia Flyers. This was, overall, a fairly unremarkable day. I do wonder if Brent Mussburger thought the CBS executive was kidding when they called him into their office and told him to pack his stuff up and leave.
With how vicious the Norris division was back in the day, I can totally imagine a Toronto Maple Leafs calling a Red Wings player:
Maple Leaf: "Hey congratulations on making the playoffs!"
Red Wing: "We're in?"
Maple Leaf: "April Fools!"
Red Wing: "*Sigh* I hate you."
Top Pop Songs: Taylor Dayne's Love will Bring you Back
was the number one song in the country. This is that indescribable
early 90's ballad with more keyboard than a 70's song had cowbell. And,
my memory is fuzzy, but I guess everyone was rocking a leather jacket back then.
And acid wash jeans. And friendship bracelets. Let's face it, we
should all be glad that this time is in our history and isn't making a comeback any time soon.
Top of the Box Office: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Really.
This usurped Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman for four (!) weeks until it retook the top spot because prostitutes with hearts of gold sell better than
pizza eating turtles. Apparently.
Top TV Shows: Jeeves and Wooster, Seinfeld, Beverly Hills 90210, Law & Order, Twin Peaks, Fresh Prince of Bel Air. So, to recap - two are considered classics, one's already been marginally remade, one's been on-going with more spin-offs than a Marvel comic book series, and one shows star became Mr. July 4th weekend blockbuster movie star. But the highest rated (by IMDB's Moviemeter) was Jeeves and Wooster? From England? Weird. I'm on the lookout for when my spellchecker starts adding "u" in words. Colour me suspicious about this...