No. 7: Minnesota Wild, 14/1
Record: 22-12-8, 52 points
After being knocked out of the playoffs the past three seasons by the Blackhawks, this Wild team has to be tired of it, and wants to make noise in the playoffs. Is this team better than those past three, though? Well, that is a question that sill remains to be seen. So far, I would have to say no. They’re hovering around the same spot they were last season and still have the star power of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter. But as the Blackhawks have shown in past seasons, teams can shut down those key players, and when that happens, this team is left with very average players that cannot score very many goals.
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According to War on Ice, this is a team that, at even strength, is not ahead of many teams in terms of possession. As for the stars on the team, they have above 50 percent Corsi-for rate, which is expected since everybody think they are the best players in the league. However, when you look at players who are not named Parise, Koivu and Suter, you see that they do not have very good possession numbers. When you don’t posses the puck very often, you are not going to score.
So if the Wild want to make it out of the first couple rounds over the Blues or the ‘Hawks, they’re going to want more success from their non-stars. Or else, the “Wild rumpus” will continue.
Next: No. 6: New York Rangers