Here's what your missing:
If we're talking about the Salary Cap era, you can argue that the Red Wings were at (or near the top) of the "Stanley Cup favourites" list from 2007-2013 - Yes, we had a couple of early round exits in that range, but so did many of this years "favourites" in Chicago, Anaheim, and LA... it happens annually in the NHL.
The difference is that when our run began in 2007, almost all of the teams you would consider as front runners this year (Washington, LA, Chicago, St.Louis) did not qualify for the playoffs. If you go in depth, Chicago had a run from 1998-2009 where they only made the playoffs once, and didn't win a single round... Today they represent the modern day dynasty, and model of success. The LA Kings had a stretch 2002-2012 where they only made the playoffs once, and didn't win a single round. The Capitals didn't win a round from 1998-2009 - and missed the playoffs entirely in most of those years. The Penguins? They were a ping-pong ball away from bankruptcy and relocation.
What we have accomplished is extremely rare, and something I will always be proud to hear: We haven't missed the playoffs in 25 years. Let's not forget that the teams we envy today, spent (on average) about a decade out of the playoffs, mixed in with the odd 30th place finish. If you understand the salary cap and the fact it's working, how can you complain about the results we've had?
I think you're missing my point entirely.
It's 2016. By the time next season is in full swing it will be 2017. 10 years removed from 2007. Even if you want to argue we were contenders between 2010 and 2013 (which I would say we were not since the results were embarrassed by the sharks and almost swept, almost swept by the sharks again, embarrassed and almost swept by the preds in the first round, and choking away a 3 - 1 lead against the blackhawks,) That will be four years ago. Four years is an eternity in professional sports.
Guys forget about what happened in the distant past. Look at the here and now. The ship is sinking. It has been sinking for a long time. At some point you have to hold leadership responsible. You can't keep looking to the captain and saying "Well he lead us on some successful voyages a long time ago!".
Or let me ask the question this way:
Are you happy with how our season ended this year? What about last year? The year before? What about the one before that one? What about every year going back to 2010? How many of those are you happy with the outcome? The answer should be 0.