Blackhawks News

Behind Enemy Lines: Central Division Ups and Downs

By JoHannah Lowder

Feb 20 2013; Denver, CO, USA; St. Louis Blues center Vladimir Sobotka (17) and Colorado Avalanche center John Mitchell (7) battle for control of the puck during the first period of the game at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s a quick overview of how the Chicago Blackhawks Central Division opponents are doing early in the season.

One of the powerhouses so far this season is the Colorado Avalanche, doing what the Blackhawks did to start their Stanley Cup championship season by winning their first 6 games. They faced the Boston Bruins and goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere picked up the team’s first shutout of the season, winning 2-0. They picked up their 5th win in Washington against the Capitals, with a final score of 5-1, before facing their Central Division opponent Dallas Stars back home. They won 3-2 and will put their perfect record on the line when they face the Detroit Red Wings.

The St. Louis Blues made it to 4 games with a perfect record picking up a 3-2 win against the Blackhawks and a 5-3 win against the NY Rangers. They then faced off against the San Jose Sharks who are having a strong start to the season for themselves with a perfect record. The mash up was too much for the Blues who lost 6-2 to end their 6 game home stand. They’ll face the Blackhawks next in Chicago.

The Winnipeg Jets didn’t have that great of a week although they picked up a shutout. They lost a close game 2-1 against Central Division opponents Minnesota Wild and followed it up the next night with a 4-1 loss to another division enemy Dallas Stars. The New Jersey Devils were the victims of the Jets first 3-0 shutout of the season, but the Jets were on the wrong end of a 3-0 shutout when facing the Montreal Canadiens. They now have a 3-4-0 record.

The Minnesota Wild recovered from losing their first three opening games by winning the next three. They took out their Central Division opponents by beating the Jets 2-1 and then the stars 5-1. They handed the Buffalo Sabers yet another loss with a 2-1 win. But the Wild were the victims of another hot team in the Toronto Maple Leafs, losing 4-1. The Wild have a 3-3-1 record on the season so far.

The Nashville Predators were able to pick themselves up a little bit after a 4-0 loss to the Maple Leafs. They won 3-2 against the NY Islanders and then 4-3 against the Florida Panthers. They have a record of 3-3-0 for their first 6 games.

The Dallas Stars are still trying to put all the pieces together, and it looked like it was working in their 4-1 win against the Jets when Tyler Seguin scored 2 goals and 2 assists. But Starting goaltender Kari Lehtonen left injured leaving backup goalie Dan Ellis to start the next 2 games. The Wild put a stop to any kind of momentum by handing them a 5-1 loss. The Stars followed up that performance with a 3-2 loss against the 6-0-0 Avalanche. Lehtonen is still listed as day-to-day, and the Stars move to a 2-3-0 record.

The Avalanche, Blackhawks and Blues represent the Central Division in the top 10 teams in the league. Is that how you think it will end up?

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