EDMONTON AB - NOVEMBER 29: Olli Jokinen #13 of the Calgary Flames watches the puck go into the net past Jose Theodore #60 of the Minnesota Wild for a third period goal at Scotiabank Saddledome on November 29 2010 in Calgary Alberta Canada. (Photo by Dylan Lynch/Getty Images)

NHL Power Rankings: Do They Reflect the Wild Slide?

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SBNation Brings Us Home, Drops Wild One Spot

The Wild are ranked 11th in the West by an All Celebrity Panel of SBNation super writers. Remember, SBNation ranks the teams inside each conference, not as a league.

I found it difficult to justify ranking the Wild ahead of teams that have beaten them so badly in the last week, but this is a case of the four teams below them just flat out sucking more than Wild do.

If the Wild keep playing the way they are, those final four spots are within their grasp.

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SportsNet Takes A Swing at Wild, Hits Backstrom

Mike Brophy of SportsNet.ca dropped the Wild a firm four spots this week. While I completely agree with the drop, the reasoning lacks a firm grasp of the situation. In blasting the Wild, it is easy to target the goalie. The “experts” should know better.

This week, they take the easy way out, with Brophy, too, laying the blame on Backstrom:

Normally steady goaltender Nicklas Backstrom has surrendered 18 goals in his last three outings.

Normally steady Backstrom got let down by his team. Let’s see you climb in there and stop 35 shots a game, including twenty in one period. Not. Going. To happen.

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FOX Drops the Wild Five

Coming right back into it, the experts get up off the mat and throw another punch. This time, FOX Sports’ Robert Picarello has the Wild dropping five spots to 18. This would be a case of having them ranked way to high last week, but a five point drop is a good start to correcting that.

The Minnesota defense was nowhere to be found last week in the team’s two losses, allowing the opposition to fire 68 shots at their net. Niklas Backstrom was just as bad, giving up 13 goals on 66 chances before getting pulled in a 7-4 loss Saturday night in Colorado.

Going to have to disagree with the Backstrom comment, but hey, if you don’t actually watch the games, I could see how you could make that conclusion.

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CBS Keeps Wild at 20

Honestly, I’m not sure if Wes Goldstein is judging them on a curve, or what. To stay even, no drop at all after the week they had is preposterous. Looks like our experts are taking the middle frame off, too.

His comment this week:

Niklas Backstrom has allowed 18 goals the past three starts, raising his goals-against average to 2.66 from 1.90.

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TSN Puts the Wild at 18

TSN’s Scott Cullen puts the Wild at 18, down five spots from last week. That is also a six point drop in two weeks. His thinking makes perfect sense:

Lost three of the last four, getting outscored 20-12 and the power play is 1-for-16 (6.7%) in the last six.

Three losses on the week deserves a strong drop, and TSN gave it to them.

So far, so good on these rankings. Solid justifications, solid drops. Can the experts play the full 60?

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Leading Off: The World Wide Leader in Knowing Nothing About Hockey

Pierre LeBrun over at EESPN drops the Wild another three spots this week, down to 20th. That’s a drop of six spots in two weeks.

His thinking:

Let’s be honest, is there a more unpredictable team in the NHL?

No Pierre, there isn’t. There also isn’t a mosre deserving team to drop in the rankings than the one that showed up this week.

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NHL Power Rankings: Do They Reflect the Wild Slide?

From week to week, the Wild don't do much in the standings. Win one, lose two, lose one in overtime, watch as your competition wins two and loses one. Without a doubt, the players are working hard, but that hard work just has not been hard enough this week.

Niklas Backstrom looks like a man defeated, having given up 5, 6, and 7 goals against in his past three starts. The team boasts 18 players who have a negative plus / minus rating. Their top shut down forward, John Madden, is a terrifying -11. The team goal differential? Minus 9.

The Power Rankings as of late have not punished the team for their poor performances, mostly because the teams south of the Wild have performed even more poorly. Is this the week the Wild take the lunge? Wander the NHL Power Rankings with us and find out.

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