MHS Central Division Power Ranking: November Edition

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Oct 30, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild forward Ryan Carter (18) celebrates his goal with teammates during the first period against the Chicago Blackhawks at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

5. Minnesota Wild

Previous Rank: –

October Record: 7-2-2

What’s Good?

As opposed to the Blackhawks, the Minnesota Wild have got their offense going pretty well, having scored 35 goals in their first 11 games of the season. The team’s top three lines are all producing and their isn’t too much to criticize on that side of the ice. Tenth in Corsi-For percentage with 51.1 percent is not great, but it should be enough to take a serious run at a playoff spot. Equally good is their current home strength — the team has yet to lose a game in their home arena.

What’s Bad?

After Devan Dubnyk’s stellar performance in net last season, the Wild signed him to a six-year, $26 million contract extension. It seemed unlikely that the inconsistent below-average goaltender became an elite player overnight, and it is starting to look like that was a fair assumption. While Dubnyk is indeed a totally different goalie compared to what he used to be, his .898 save percentage through 10 games played seems far too low for someone of his price.

Furthermore, Minnesota has won the majority of their games by one goal, including the 5-4 in the season opener against Colorado. In fact, six of the Wild’s wins were by one goal. Not exactly the safe way to handle things.

What’s Next?

If the Wild really want a playoff spot — just like all other teams in this division — Dubnyk will have to find back to his outstanding play from last season. If not, the Wild may end up just outside of the playoffs or, even more likely, steal the last wildcard spot once again, as the fifth team in the Central Division.

Next: #4 - Winnipeg Jets