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Detroit Red Wings

And Then There Were Two: Little Caesars Arena, Red Wings Home, Yet to See Playoff Action

Detroit without playoff hockey since 2016

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Little Caesars Arena, Red Wings home rink
Since it opened in 2017, Little Caesars Arena has never played host to a Red Wings playoff game.

While Detroit Red Wings fans were reveling in the demise of the 16-year playoff streak of Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night, a couple of pertinent facts seemed to be slipping their minds.

Pittsburgh’s playoff ouster means that the New York Islanders are in the NHL postseason and the hunt for the Stanley Cup. This impacts the Red Wings on a couple of fronts.

Firstly, the Red Wings own the Islanders’ 2023 first-round draft pick via the Filip Hronek trade with the Vancouver Canucks. Were the Islanders to go on a prolonged playoff run, then that pick will slide further down the first-round draft order. For instance, if the Isles were to win two playoff rounds and reach the conference final – which, by the way, they’ve done in two of the last three springs – then the best the Red Wings pick would be is 29th overall.

Secondly, New York’s move into postseason play means that UBS Arena, their home rink, will be witnessing its first Stanley Cup action. Likewise, in the Western Conference, the Seattle Kraken will be bringing NHL postseason play to Climate Pledge Arena for the first time.

Red Wings Home Without Postseason Hockey

That’s leaving two current NHL arenas among the 32 in use that have never played host to a playoff game. They would be Mullett Arena, home of the Arizona Coyotes, and Little Caesars Arena, home to the Red Wings.

The Coyotes are just finishing their first season at Mullett Arena. It’s been six long years – 246 NHL regular-season games – that have passed at LCA without a single playoff game having been witnessed by the Detroit faithful.

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The last home playoff game for the Red Wings took place on April 19, 2016 at Joe Louis Arena, when the Tampa Bay Lightning beat Detroit 3-2.

A Detroit team hasn’t won a home playoff game at LCA. The Detroit Pistons qualified for the 2018-19 NBA playoffs but were swept in the first round by the Milwaukee Bucks, losing Games 3 and 4 at LCA.