3 NHL teams outside the playoffs who will ultimately make it

The NHL playoff picture is razor thin right now, and there are some teams on the outside who will be in come April and May.
Dec 27, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86) skates with the
Dec 27, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86) skates with the / Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 3

2. Seattle Kraken — Currently three points out of a playoff position

While the Seattle Kraken are just three points out of a playoff position, they have a huge hill to climb. The Coyotes, Blues, and Flames are ahead of them in points percentage, and none of them are in a playoff spot. The Kraken have to jump at least four teams to get into a playoff spot. That's hard to do, but there is plenty of time to do it.

The Kraken looked like one of those bad teams that would be sellers at the deadline, but right before Christmas, they started a nine-game win streak to get them back into the race. Their numbers are getting better each month. They are now eighth in high-danger chances at even strength, according to Natural Stat Trick.

There is one thing holding the Kraken back, and it's the same thing hurting the Devils. The goaltending just isn't up to where it needs to be. Only the Devils have a worse high-danger save percentage at 5v5 than the Kraken. However, that's changed. Over the past month, the Kraken led the league in high-danger save percentage, stopping close to 90 percent of such chances.

There is one main reason for that. Phillip Grubauer is injured. We hate to attribute a team's success to a star player's injury, but this can't just be a coincidence. Grubauer's last game was Dec. 9. They were 8-13-7 after that overtime loss. They've gone 11-4-2 since then. Joey Daccord has been fantastic. He has a .922 save percentage. Chris Dreidger has been just as good, but he's only been asked to play two games. We're a little worried about Daccord flaming out, but for now, he's carrying them.