We have reached the time of year where swings in playoff races happen on a nightly basis. Teams in the hunt battle desperately for position and a hot streak or bad bounce can make the difference between a postseason berth and watching from home in April. But that only applies to about two-thirds of the NHL. The other third is trying to end the season strong or get a look at some inexperienced players.
With so much parity in the league, there is an argument to be made that each one of this year's non-playoff teams could have been in the race if a few things had gone their way. There's also a case that they will bounce back in 2018-19. And if you don't think it's possible, look no farther than the Colorado Avalanche, who finished in last place in 2016-17 and now sit in a playoff spot.
What went wrong for this year's non-playoff teams? How will they turn things around next year? Let's have a look: