Daily Archives: April 19th, 2014

Longest active playoff streak in major pro sports

Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings last night began their 2014 NHL playoff run with a 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins. The Red Wings are playing in their 23rd consecutive NHL playoffs, not only the longest active streak in the league, but also the longest active streak in the four major professional sports.

The San Antonio Spurs tomorrow will begin their 2014 NBA playoff season when they face off against the Dallas Mavericks. It will be the 17th straight season that the Spurs have made the playoffs in the NBA, longest active streak in the league, and second to the Red Wings as the longest active playoff streak in the four major pro sports.

Here’s a look at the current active streaks in the NBA, NHL, NFL and MLB for playoff appearances.

Longest active streak of playoff appearances

23 seasons: Detroit (NHL)

17: San Antonio (NBA)

10: San Jose (NHL)

8: Pittsburgh (NHL)

7: Atlanta (NBA), Boston (NHL)

6: Chicago (NBA), Miami (NBA), Chicago (NHL)

5: Green Bay (NFL), New England (NFL), Oklahoma City (NBA), L.A. Kings (NHL)

4: Indiana (NBA), Memphis (NBA), N.Y. Rangers (NHL)

3: Detroit (MLB), St. Louis (MLB), Cincinnati (NFL), Denver (NFL), San Francisco (NFL), L.A. Clippers (NBA), St. Louis (NHL)

Considering that the NHL and NBA have playoffs with 16 teams, it’s no surprise that several of their teams are on the list above. Major League Baseball, which has 10 teams make their playoffs (it was only eight until last season) and the NFL, which has a 12-team format (likely to go to 14 in the near future), have fewer teams appear on the list. The MLB Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals are the only two baseball teams to have played in the last three MLB playoffs, while the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots top NFL teams with five straight playoff appearances.

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