Analysis

NHL Power Rankings: Eastern Conference Still Crowds Top 10

By George Clifford
Nov 26, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates with teammates on the bench after scoring a goal to tie the game against the New Jersey Devils with fourteen seconds remaining in the third period at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Pens won 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 26, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates with teammates on the bench after scoring a goal to tie the game against the New Jersey Devils with fourteen seconds remaining in the third period at the PPG PAINTS Arena. The Pens won 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
18 of 31
Nov 25, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild forward Nino Niederreiter (22) celebrates his goal with teammates during the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Penguins 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 25, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild forward Nino Niederreiter (22) celebrates his goal with teammates during the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Penguins 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 14: Minnesota Wild

Previous: 16th

Season record: 11-8-3 (25 points)

Adding free agents Eric Staal and Chris Stewart to the lineup, the Minnesota Wild are rolling four dangerous lines. Staal has found new life centering the top line and leads the team with 16 points, while Mikael Granlund already has five goals and 14 points in what could be a career year for him.

The Wild blue line is deep and experienced, and their special teams both rank in the top six of the Western Conference. Goalie Devan Dubnyk leads the NHL with four shutouts, while his .946 save percentage ranks only behind Montreal’s Carey Price among regular starters, and his 1.66 goals-against average ranks second behind Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins.

Under new head coach Bruce Boudreau, the Wild have the depth to challenge for the Central Division title and make a deep run in the playoffs.

facebooktwitterreddit