3. Act like you’ve been there before
There’s no question that, in the playoffs, having star players matters when games become low scoring and teams have to rely on their top six more. But how do you think the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup this past year when virtually half of their roster was banged up?
Having the veteran presence of guys like Ron Hainsey and Matt Cullen was enormous, especially Cullen who logged the most minutes of any Penguins forward in Game 6 of the Cup Final.
Not only has back-to-back Stanley Cup winner Matt Cullen brought his postseason experience to the Wild, they also have Eric Staal and Zach Parise, who have all played in Cup Finals. Compare that to the inexperience of the Winnipeg Jets, who have 13 players on their roster who have never experienced a playoff win. Combined with the heightened expectations that come with being the second-best team in the West, and the Jets could very well falter on the big stage while the Wild won’t be fazed.
Playoff experience is one of many intangible factors that can contribute to a team’s success. While the Wild franchise hasn’t had much playoff success, they have players that have seen and done it before. Those graybeards will be integral in getting their team over the line and deep into the playoffs.