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Detroit and Chicago will battle all season for first place in the Central Division
Teams: St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets.
Just missing the number one spot is the powerful Central Division, which is by far the toughest division in the Western Conference. Four teams from the central made the playoffs last year, but all failed to reach even the conference finals. The Blues will be solid again with great, young defensemen and two fantastic goaltenders.
Nashville and Detroit both lose big named defensemen, in Ryan Suter and Nicklas Lidstrom respectively, and it will be interesting to see how both squads adapt to their losses. The Red Wings obviously take the biggest hit, and it will be interesting to see how Henrik Zetterberg handles his duties as captain. He is just the third captain in the last 26 years. To put that in perspective, the Wings had 20 different captains in the 26 years prior to 1986.
I think the Blackhawks are going to be the team to watch, they return their full core of fire power and have no excuses if they don't come out of the gates flying when the puck drops on January 19th. With a shortened season, getting off to a fast start will be crucial, and if they can play solid defense and help out goaltender Corey Crawford, I think they win this division.
Sorry Columbus fans. I'm just sorry.
|Team ||GP ||W ||L ||OTL ||P
|St. Louis Blues |
|82 ||49 ||22 ||11 ||109
|Nashville Predators |
|82 ||48 ||26 ||8 ||104
|Detroit Red Wings |
|82 ||48 ||28 ||6 ||102
|Chicago Blackhawks |
|82 ||45 ||26 ||11 ||101
|Columbus Blue Jackets |
|82 ||29 ||46 ||7 ||65