Line Change: Minnesota is going Wild

A month ago, the 2016-17 NHL season had yet to start. Dreams of the perfect season, plentiful offense and the Stanley Cup filled the heads of players, coaches and fans alike.

After almost a month of hockey action, some dreams have been crushed, and some have been ignited. Let’s take a look at who has risen and who has fallen after four weeks of hockey.

Rising: Devan Dubnyk

Devan Dubnyk had one heck of a week.

In three starts, the former Vezina finalist posted a record of 3-0-0, blocked all 94 shots he faced, and became the first goaltender in Wild history to achieve three consecutive shutouts. He also broke a record in the process, becoming the new franchise leader for longest shutout streak with 181:43 scoreless minutes.

The goaltender’s flawless play helped push his team to first place in the highly competitive Central Division, where the Wild currently sit with 13 points.

Falling: Pekke Rinne

While Minnesota’s goalie is on the rise, Nashville’s is definitely falling.

Rinne, another former Vezina finalist, has struggled to get going this season, and is currently on pace to have one of the worst seasons of his career. After six games, the 33-year-old netminder owns a disappointing 3.21 goals against average (GAA) and .906 save percentage (SV%). It’s not like Rinne has the worst stats in the league, but for a goalie that basically used to be a brick wall, those stats are pretty shoddy.

The Predators need all the help they can get after falling to the bottom of the league this week. Unfortunately, their goalie hasn’t been able to provide much assistance. Nashville’s demise isn’t completely Rinne’s fault, but he’s going to have to be better if his team is going to stop its downward spiral.

Rising: The Xcel Energy Center

The Xcel Energy Center has seen some great hockey so far this season.

The Minnesota Wild, surprisingly one of the top teams in the league, have yet to lose in front of a home crowd this year. There’s no solid proof that home ice advantage is real, but Minnesota is making a pretty convincing case. The team has gone 4-0 in St. Paul this season.