Jan. 12, 2019 marked 1,000 days since a Detroit pro sports team won a playoff game, the worst such stretch of futility since 1978-84.
Detroit Free Press
On April 17, 2016, the Detroit Red Wings shut out the Tampa Bay Lightning, 2-0, in front of a sell-out Joe Louis Arena crowd, cutting their first-round, best-of-seven playoff series deficit to 2-1.
Andreas Athanasiou and Henrik Zetterberg scored and Petr Mrazek had the shutout in goal for the Wings.
So why am I telling you about some random NHL playoff game from three years ago?
It’s the last time any major Detroit professional sports franchise won a playoff game. And it was exactly 1,000 days ago.
The Red Wings were blasted by the Lightning the remaining two games of their series. The Detroit Pistons also made the playoffs in 2016, but were soundly swept by LeBron James and the eventual champion Cleveland Cavaliers. They remain without a playoff win since 2008.
The Detroit Tigers, who are essentially in rebuilding mode, haven’t won a playoff game since Oct. 16, 2013. Their last playoff appearance was in 2014, when they were swept by the Baltimore Orioles despite starting three Cy Young winners (Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, David Price).
And you already know this by now: The Detroit Lions haven’t won a playoff game since Jan. 5, 1992. There are grown adults who can rent cars who weren’t alive when that happened.
This is the biggest slump between playoff wins in major Detroit pro sports since 1978-84, when the Motor City went 2,358 consecutive days without a postseason victory.
Furthermore, of the 19 cities across the U.S. and Canada with at least 3 major pro sports teams, none are suffering a worse such slump than Detroit. Even Cleveland has a playoff win the past 3 years.
Welcome to being a Detroit sports fan.
Pass me a drink, please
We’ve documented on multiple occasions that we’re in the worst state of Detroit sports futility in decades. And no matter how many months or even years pass in between those occasions, things aren’t looking any better.
We thought the Lions, who finished 9-7 in 2017, might take a leap after first-year coach Matt Patricia was hired. Instead, they regressed to 6-10.
For a while, it looked like the Pistons, led by Blake Griffin and first-year coach Dwane Casey, might make a surprising run into the NBA playoffs. Now they’ve lost nine of their last 11 and are sitting outside the playoff picture.
The Red Wings currently sit two points away from last place in the entire NHL. Their big win this spring is if they can score the No. 1 pick in the draft and potentially land super-prospect Jack Hughes.
And then we have the Tigers. Do we need to go there?
At least we have college basketball. March can’t get here soon enough.