I have mixed feelings about your post. Sure, fans overreact when their team looks as bad as we have the last couple of games. And obviously, the sky is not falling. You're right, we've made the playoffs a whole bunch of times and in general we're lucky we never have to watch a bottom feeder.
But you also make it seem like we should pat ourselves on the back for making the playoffs as if that's some victory in and of itself. It would be...for the Lions. But given that the Red Wings ALWAYS make it, there's some expectation that periodically they'll challenge for a Cup, or make it to the finals, or even make it to the conference finals...none of which we've done since 2009.
If it's an overreaction to assume that everything about the team sucks and the Wings are terrible, its an equally bad under-reaction to assume that nothing is wrong with the team, and if not for a few less injuries we'd have been competing for Cups these last few years.
I guess all I'm saying is that if you look at it objectively, there is some reason to worry that the team is trending in the wrong direction (e.g. barely making the playoffs, stinking up their first round series' against Nashville and now Boston, blowing 3-1 series leads, etc.)
We should pat ourselves on the back. Making the playoffs last season and even more so this season, is a victory. We should be proud of our playoff performance last year, even if we did "blow" a 3-1 lead. Even if we lose in 5 to the PT winners, a team that won a Cup a few years ago and went to the finals last year, it's nothing to be ashamed of.
Having some pride in what we've been able to accomplish during the beginning of our transition is not the same as assuming nothing is wrong with the team. Nothing lasts forever, and that includes being content with marginal achievements. Saying, "we did well this year, all things considered", is in no way, shape, or form a statement that we should never try or expect to improve.
You say "trending in the wrong direction", but by definition you have to go down before you can head back up. To suggest that we should already be getting back to the top is saying we never should have fallen in the first place, or at least that our floor should have been a top 7 overall finish and a 2nd round loss. The expectations most people have for this team are ridiculously unrealistic. We've barely even declined (at least relative to what "decline" means for the rest of the league), and by the look of our kids this year we may already be moving back up (at least in the short-term). It's actually pretty damn impressive, and it's a shame more people can't appreciate it.