If the playoffs started today.....Well Bettman and the league would be surprised. No seriously, the Columbus bluejackets after losing the Bread Man, Bob, Dzingel, Duchene and a few other lesser luminaries, picked by most to finish in the basement are currently sitting in a playoff spot as we ramp up for the all star game. And one of the biggest reasons is rookie goalie Elvis Merzlikins.
Elvis, a 25 year old Latvian who is six foot three and rail thin came over to the States to comp
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Minnesota Wild (22-21-6) 50pts 7th in the Central
3.08 Goals For Per Game (14th in the NHL)
3.31 Goals Against Per Game (27th in the NHL)
20.5% Power Play (13th in the NHL)
75.2% Penalty Kill (27th in the NHL)
Top 5 Scorers:
1. #12 Eric Staal ~ 16G 20A = 36pts
2. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 7G 28A = 35pts
If they can keep guys like JVR and Jake contributing nightly they won't need any major trades.
If this roster plays to it's potentially they can beat anyone. Hell we have seen it.
But that is a big IF!