One thing's for sure in the NHL: Regular-season success offers no playoff guarantees.
Sure, you can lead the league from wire to wire and win the Stanley Cup, like the Chicago Blackhawks did in last year's lockout-shortened season. But you can also squeak into the playoffs as an eighth seed in your conference and hoist the mug. Just ask the 2012 Los Angeles Kings.
Every playoff path could be a road to victory. There are always upsets along the way.
With one month to go until the end of the regular season, playoff berths and positioning are by no means secure—a lot can happen in 15 games or so.
Here's a look at six teams that have exceeded expectations or bounced back from slumps this season. Any of them should cause trepidation for their playoff opponents once the postseason gets underway.
All stats courtesy of NHL.com, current through Mar. 13.