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Zach Parise and Minnesota lead the Northwest… for now.
Last year, the Southeast Division was, on paper, the "weakest" of the six in the NHL. The Panthers' 94 points to win would have put them as the sixth seed were they not division winners. That total was just two more than the eighth seed, the Ottawa Senators.
If there is a division this season that could turn out similarly, it would have to be the Northwest Division.
The Minnesota Wild are currently on top with just five points from as many games, tied with Vancouver at that total while also sporting a negative goal differential (more goals allowed than scored).
In fact, those five points are tied with four other teams in the West, including the aforementioned Vancouver and the current ninth seed, the Detroit Red Wings. Basically, they could go from division winners to out of the playoffs in just one game.
Vancouver waits in the wings, but the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers are both just one point behind the top two, and both boast a game in hand having only played four games instead of five. The Calgary Flames, with three points, also possess that game in hand.
This division could go down to the wire and could easily be decided by which star player(s), be it Zach Parise in Minnesota, Vancouver's Sedin twins or Edmonton's bevy of young stars, steps up biggest over the next few weeks.