Damn, it's been a long time.
You might hear that in Toronto these days, with the Maple Leafs on the verge of qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2004.
Before Twitter. Before Sidney Crosby left Rimouski. The longest drought of any current team in the NHL.
You might also hear that, however, in Detroit, and for very different reasons.
These good times have lasted for a long, long time.
For 21 consecutive seasons, the Red Wings have made the playoffs, before hockey fans were even familiar with the word "lockout."
It's by far the longest current streak in the NHL. San Jose is next with eight years. Boston, at 29 years, holds the all-time record, and the Wings might just take a run at that if they can figure a way out of their current predicament.
In the first season of the post-Nicklas Lidstrom era, you see, Detroit is fighting for its playoff life, and it would surely be an intriguing daily double from a hockey history point of view if the Wings and Leafs both ended their streaks in the same spring.
The Leafs, theoretically, could win no more games and make it to the post-season. Detroit, on the other hand, came up with a huge win in Nashville on Sunday, and needs not only more victories but possibly some help.
Beating the Preds bumped the Wings two points up on Dallas, which has a game in hand and plays in Chicago tonight. Columbus also two points back, in Denver to play Avalanche tonight.
"There's lots of us in that mud puddle trying to find a way to swim," is how Wings head coach Mike Babcock described it.
Since last missing the playoffs in 1990 (!), the Wings sneaked in with 76 points the next season, brought Lidstrom over the next fall to stay and then really haven't had to worry about playoff qualification since while becoming not only a dominant NHL power but a marquee franchise, a four-time Cup winner, a six-time finalist and frequently the league's most entertaining team.
But this year has been a struggle.
Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg have had to shoulder more of the burden than ever before. Detroit's dearth of high-end young talent after years of drafting either poorly or out of range of the best kids has finally began to impact its lineup. Injuries have hurt. Damien Brunner got hot and then he cooled. Jonas Gustavsson hasn't been the answer as a backup. Brad Stuart and Jiri Hudler are missed.
Johan Franzen has nine goals. Val Filpulla, theoretically in a contract drive, has fallen off the face of the earth offensively. Kids like Cory Emmerton, Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyqvist and Riley Sheahan haven't made an impact.
Detroit beat everyone to the punch on collegiate defencemen Danny DeKeyser, and now have to hope he'll have a greater impact than most NCAA free agents do. That's a card the Maple Leafs played frequently when they were desperate for talent - Tyler Bozak, Ben Scrivens, Brayden Irwin, Christian Hanson etc. - and its a hit-and-miss proposition.
The Wings aren't awful by any means, but they've lost more than they've won and have scored fewer than they've allowed.
"You are what you are, and this is what we've earned this year, this is what our team is," Babcock told the Detroit Free Press. "We're no better and no worse than what we are. We're just a team battling to get into the playoffs."
Every year, analysts speculate which teams will fall out of the post-season mix after making it previous year. The temptation is always to point to only one or two, but generally between four and seven playoff teams miss the following year, and this year Detroit would be the biggest to fall in the west if it happens.
Phoenix and Nashville will likely be on the outside looking in, as well. In the east, defending conference champion New Jersey comes to Toronto tonight minus Ilya Kovalchuk and captain Bryce Salvador and in a desperate position. Florida and Philadelphia will likely miss after making it last season, and the Rangers, who met the Devils in the 2012 Eastern Conference final, certainly aren't out of the woods yet.
Sure, it's been a funny, shortened season, by this is the type of turnover you get these days in the NHL. That the Wings have been able to avoid falling off the carousel for so long - and still might - is an incredible story of ownership, management and player performance.
If their streak is broken this spring, it's hard to imagine anyone will come close to it for a long, long time.