What we learned from the last week of play in the NHL

The Detroit Red Wings will not be in the playoffs for first time since 1989-90.

What we learned from the last week of play in the NHL:

Sharks could be toothless

The San Jose Sharks are flailing as they approach the playoffs. In addition to losing eight of their last 10 games — and scoring two goals or fewer in each of those defeats — they lost durable Joe Thornton to an apparent left leg injury after he was involved in a collision Sunday in Vancouver. There was no update on his condition Monday.

They already are without Logan Couture (facial injuries), so a long-term absence for Thornton would seriously undermine their chances of repeating as West champions. They finish the regular season at home against Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary.

Bullish on the Bruins

A well-timed five-game winning streak — matching their longest this season — has put the Boston Bruins back into the East playoff picture. They have not reached the playoffs each of the last two seasons but they’re 17-7-0 under coach Bruce Cassidy, who replaced Claude Julien.


If it sounds like a threat and quacks like a threat …

Days after the Calgary Flames created immense goodwill by clinching a playoff berth for the second time in eight seasons, their president and chief executive, Ken King, said in a radio interview they could face the possibility of moving if the club and the city can’t agree on terms for a new arena.

“We’re not threatening people. And furthermore, I think and hope we’re going to get a deal,” he told the Calgary Herald. “The truth of the matter is, we would just move. Which is not to be confused as a threat. We don’t think it’s fair to threaten.”

But isn’t that a threat?

Two projects have been proposed but funding is a sticking point. The Flames’ current home, the Saddledome, opened in 1983 and is among the NHL’s oldest venues.


“Our current situation is not viable in the near or long term,” King told the Herald.

Red Wings’ playoff streak deserves a salute

Their dwindling talent made it inevitable, but it was still a jolt to see the Detroit Red Wings’ playoff streak end at 25 seasons. They struggled to get a postseason berth the last few seasons and hadn’t gotten past the first round since 2013, but it still will be odd that they’re absent. And it will be difficult for anyone to assemble that kind of streak: The Pittsburgh Penguins have the NHL’s longest active playoff streak at 11 seasons.

Follow Helene Elliott on Twitter @helenenothelen

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