The Carolina Hurricanes clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2009 last night, doing so at home, and it got a bit misty in the stands.

That’s good. That’s how much it means – not just in Carolina, but it should mean that much everywhere.

The Penguins have made the playoffs 13 straight seasons. That’s an incredible streak, tied for 13th longest in NHL history. In all of pro sports, only the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs (22 seasons) are currently on a longer run.

Don’t take it for granted, Penguins fans. Remember the dark days of 2001-06, and of 1982-88. The Penguins might make making the playoffs look easy. But it isn’t.

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