Early in this season, the first week at least, it was very easy to write-off the Minnesota Wild’s chances. Especially in a stacked Central Division, with teams seemingly rediscovering old form.
Gone are those days now though, and despite Jonathan Toews proving he still has gas in the tank, the Chicago Blackhawks have faded to the point of firing Joel Quenneville, who I wouldn’t personally mind seeing show up with the Minnesota Wild.
The St. Louis Blues, for all their off-season acquisitions haven’t exactly dazzled and it really showed in the 5-1 rout on the weekend. When defenseman, Nick Seeler is grabbing three points against you and all from roughly the same spot, you’ve got to wonder what you’re doing wrong.
As such, the Minnesota Wild are sitting pretty in most of the Power Rankings published by media outlets.
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Starting with Sports Illustrated, they have the Wild ranked 5th, though do question whether the flame from a hot start will fade as the season goes on. They do, however, point out that Zach Parise is in his best form for several years.
J.J. Regan of NBC Sports Washington places the Minnesota Wild in a lofty 3rd spot, pointing to 7 wins out of the last 8 as the main reason the team is found so high.
Only the Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning are higher in his books – a fair statement based on recent form.
Over at Yahoo Sports, Ryan Lambert doesn’t have much to see about many teams, the Wild included, but he still places us a respectable 8th (last week: 6th). Unsure why we dropped in his rankings, but every writer has their individual reasoning.
Finally, Michael Finewax at Rotoworld sees the Minnesota Wild climb 5 places in his Power Rankings, moving into 5th place (last week: 10th).
All in all, it’s good to see that whilst the press at large isn’t on-board the Minnesota Wild bandwagon, the team is getting some level of respect. After all, if it was the Maple Leafs or Canucks steaming through with 7 wins out of 8, you’d be seeing them on top of the pile for sure!
Now, as long as the team can emerge from the California section of the road-trip without too many losses, especially in light of opening it with one against the San Jose Sharks, I have no doubt we can at least maintain our present standing around the league.