Just recently the Detroit Red Wings had their 25 year playoff streak end as they were officially eliminated from the playoffs. Their streak is the third longest in NHL history and was littered with Stanley Cups and sensational players. They had some of the greats playing for them such as Nicklas Lindstrom, Sergei Federov, and Pavel Datsyuk to name a few. Even in spite of all of this their streak eventually had to come to an end and thus they are now entering a rebuild phase. And us as Penguins fans can take lots of things from their streak ending.
The first thing that we can take from it, is that we should take a moment just to appreciate the talent that we get to see right now, because in 10-15 years we most likely won’t have talent like this in an abundance. We are watching two of the best to ever play the game in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Along with these we are also able to witness elite players such as Phil Kessel, Kris Letang, Marc-Andre Fleury, Matt Murray, and as of this year Justin Shultz. In addition to these players the Penguins have also had key players in the past that are no longer with them such as James Neal. Jordan Staal, and Brooks Orpik. So what fans should do is focus less on the negatives of a player’s game, as we have a tendency to do, and just be happy that we get to see them play. The reason being that, in the future we may only have one elite player to watch instead of multiple and our team will not be at the caliber it is now.
The second point, which is similar to the first, is that we as fans have to realize that this success can’t last forever. Unfortunately, the Penguins are going to have to go into a rebuild period to be able to get a team as talented as we have right now. Most fans may not be prepared or used to the Penguins not being good, because they have been in the playoffs for 11 straight years and have gained a good bit of fans because of their recent success. So we just need to be prepared to stick by this team when the success eventually falls off and our superstars retire.
In summation, we as fans have to not take this team and the talent we have for granted as many other fanbases would love to have the team that we do. A team’s success is always a rollercoaster ride and we have been fortunate to be at the top for a while, but sadly that won’t last so we need to appreciate this team instead of critiquing it.