Why each on the bubble team will make the NHL playoffs and why they won’t

The NHL playoffs will be here before we know it, and as always, there are a slew of on the bubble teams looking to sneak into a wild card spot.
Arizona Coyotes v Detroit Red Wings
Arizona Coyotes v Detroit Red Wings / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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Minnesota Wild

Although they may regret selling their best lower-liners at the trade deadline, few teams have gotten as hot as the Minnesota Wild since the All-Star Break ended. Minnesota is an incredible 12-4-2 in that span, and while the strong play hasn’t saved their season, they definitely re-entered the playoff picture. 

Before February, the Wild were 21-23-5, good for just 47 points and the fourth-worst mark in the Western Conference. It’s true that their recent surge is nothing more than a solid month-and-a-half, but it’s also becoming apparent that nobody can figure out Minnesota. 

Throughout their run, offense has been their game, having scored 61 goals in those 18 games and averaging 3.38 per contest. The Wild haven’t fared incredibly well defensively, allowing 2.77 goals per game in the same stretch. 

For the Wild, it comes down to whether anyone can stop their momentum, but here’s the kicker: They’re playing the Anaheim Ducks, the St. Louis Blues, and the San Jose Sharks in four of their last six contests this month. 

If Minnesota can beat the teams they are better than on paper and a few legitimate contenders in the final month of the season, they will have done everything in their power to reach the postseason. But they also sit six points behind the Golden Knights, and nobody improved better than Vegas last week.