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History says slumping teams are not doomed in the playoffs

Teams that have entered the playoffs red-hot, haven't had much luck in a Stanley Cup run.
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With 10 games left to play in the regular season, the Wild are in the midst of a season-long five-game losing streak. The team entered Tuesday’s tilt against the Sharks having won just two out of nine games in the month of March.

Currently the Wild are seven points back of the Chicago Blackhawks for the Central Division lead and the top spot in the Western Conference.

It may not sound ideal to enter the playoffs on a losing skid, but what about the opposite? Do teams entering the playoffs red-hot have a better chance? According to hockeynews.com, that isn’t necessarily true.

Check out these results of the hottest and coldest teams that entered the Stanley Cup playoffs over the last five years.

2011-12

  • Hottest team: New Jersey won six straight games to finish the season and went all the way to the Cup Final falling to the Kings.
  • Coldest team: Florida won just two regulation games over their last ten and were eliminated in the first round.

2012-13

  • Hottest team: Washington finished the regular season 8-1-1 but it didn't matter as the team was bounced in the first round.
  • Coldest team: Boston went 3-5-2 to close the season and made it all the way to the Cup Final, falling is six games.

2013-14

  • Hottest team: Both Tampa Bay and Anaheim closed the year having won seven of their last 10. Tampa was bounced in round one and Anaheim fell in the second.
  • Coldest team: St. Louis dropped their final six games and were swept in the first round.

2014-15

  • Hottest: Ottawa went 6-2-2 to close the season but fell in the first round.
  • Coldest: Chicago finished the season having lost four straight, but went on to win the Stanley Cup anyway.

2015-16

  • Hottest: Dallas were winners of eight of their last 10 in the regular season but were eliminated in the second round.
  • Coldest: Our very own Wild who lost five straight, falling in six games in round one.

So in the past five years, two teams that entered the playoffs as the "coldest team" made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.

In the same span, the hottest teams that entered the post-season didn't win a Stanley Cup and three of those teams were bounced in the first round.

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