The heartbreak bounce

What happens to teams who barely miss the playoffs? It's often just what they needed.

Updated: April 6, 2011, 12:44 AM ET
By Robert Vollman | Hockey Prospectus
Getty ImagesDallas and Calgary will likely both miss the playoffs by small margins. So watch out for them next year.

The Carolina Hurricanes, Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars all stand to miss the playoffs by fewer than five points. That means a single bad break in just one four-point game could be the only reason each ends up on the outside looking in next week. Looking at the 58 teams that have been squeezed out of the postseason in the past 25 years by a similar margin, are there any common, avoidable traits they share? And what ultimately happens to these teams in the future?