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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Pittsburgh Penguins

Next to the Red Wings, the Penguins may have suffered through the worst recent stretch of any team on this list. Since February 29th, Pittsburgh is 2-6-1, and they have scored just 17 goals while allowing 35. A far cry from the team that won the Stanley Cup in 2016-17, Pittsburgh’s recent win over the San Jose Sharks is the only reason they are on this list and sitting just five points out of the second wild card.

Yet of all the teams listed, the Penguins are the least likely to earn a playoff berth, mainly because they can’t score. Sure, they put up six on the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night, but this is also a bad San Jose Sharks team that sold off quite a few of their better players at last week’s trade deadline. 

Take out their win over San Jose, and Pittsburgh found themselves shut out three times while they put up one or fewer goals on six different occasions. But they also have a pair of legends in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, both of whom can still lead a late-season turnaround and sneak into the postseason. There is a slim chance of this happening, but Sid and Geno are two players you can never count out. 

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(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)