After going four seasons without qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Minnesota Wild are in the postseason for the second straight season. They clinched their spot after defeating the Boston Bruins 4-3 in a shootout Tuesday.
Last season the Wild made their first trip to the playoffs since 2008. The return was short-lived as Minnesota lost in five games to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. One season later Minnesota is hoping to win a playoff series for the first time since 2003, when they lost to the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference Final.
The 2013-14 Minnesota Wild retained the core that led it back to the playoffs the previous season. But a number of other elements, including an infusion of youth, brought postseason hockey back to Minnesota.
Here are five reasons the Wild are headed back to the playoffs: