I think the streak is amazing. I think the streak is important. But I think you have to be careful not to place too much importance on the streak itself. Zetterberg himself said he'd trade a season or two of the streak for a deeper run one year. Point being, the streak isn't really about making the playoffs every year. It's about sustained excellence, being in the mix for the Cup every season, not just being glad because "Phew! We kept a streak alive. Thank goodness. Now we can rest a little easier." The Cup is all that matters. 23 straight seasons is important not because it's a ridiculous streak, but because it shows a commitment to winning. But the Wings have to make good on that. The commitment itself can't be fetishized. There has to be some actual winning. Just making the dance isn't good enough, even in a transitional year like this one. It's really interesting to see Zetterberg basically say as much.
Then again, I suppose it's possible that the whole sustained excellence and commitment to winning thing might not be doable without yearly playoff revenue. It's entirely possible that Mr. I has been able to spend like he has largely because of the streak itself.