The Chicago Blackhawks are once again in the strongest Division in the NHL, just slightly better than the Pacific Division by 3 points. They are neck-and-neck with Colorado and St. Louis in the fight over the top spot in the division.
The Colorado Avalanche suffered one more loss last week, but not before adding two more wins. They won 4-2 against the Calgary Flames and 4-1 against the Washington Capitals. Their 2-1 loss came against the unlikely Carolina Hurricanes which marked their first road loss of the season and upped their regulation losses to 3. They are tied with the Blackhawks in points with 28 and a game in hand – good for first in the Central Division. Their record stands at 14-3-0.
The St. Louis Blues sit in 3rd place behind the Blackhawks and are also one of three teams with only 2 regulation losses this season. They managed to earn 5 points in 3 games last week. They won 3-2 against Calgary and 2-1 when they hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins. They took a point in a 3-2 overtime loss against the rolling Phoenix Coyotes. The Blues have an 11-2-3 record.
The Winnipeg Jets won all three of their games last week and raised their record to 9-9-2. They scored 5 goals in a shutout against the Nashville Predators and another 5 in a shootout win over the San Jose Sharks. The Detroit Red Wings forced another shootout, in which the Jets took the extra point in a 3-2 shootout win. They sit in 5th place with 20 points and 20 games played.
The Minnesota Wild sit a point below the Blues in the standings at 4th place. Their two games last week both went to a shootout. The Wild lost 3-2 against the Washington Capitals and won 3-2 in Carolina. Their record is 10-4-4.
The Nashville predators had their worst week in a while, scoring just once in 3 games. They lost in Winnipeg 5-0. Then they lost in New Jersey by the same score – 5-0. They finally managed to score once and hold the New York Islanders to just 3 goals. The Predators’ record of 8-8-2 puts them at the bottom of the Central Division with 18 points.
The Dallas Stars also have 18 points with one fewer game played. The Stars won 4-3 in overtime against the Red Wings but lost 5-2 in a beautiful game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Their record is 8-7-2 which places them slightly above the Predators in the 6th spot.
As bad of a record as Winnipeg, Dallas, and Nashville have so far this season, they are doing a lot better than the other bottom 3s in the other 3 divisions. Their slightly stronger record is what makes the Central Division one of the stronger divisions with the Pacific following close behind.
What do you think is the Central Division’s strength?