Mar 19, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Roman Polak (46) shoots the puck against Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) during the third period at the United Center. The Blackhawks beat the Blues 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Blackhawks jumped above the Colorado Avalanche in the Central Division standings, with 3 wins and one overtime loss last week. They have 97 points in 71 games and a record of 41-15-15.
The St. Louis Blues still have the top spot in the Central Division, although the Blackhawks are closing the gap. The Blues played division rivals last week with wins against Nashville and Winnipeg but lost a 4-0 shutout to Chicago. They are the first NHL team this season to break 100 points in the standings with 101 earned from their 47-15-7 record.
The Colorado Avalanche have fallen behind the Blackhawks to third in the division. They won 3-1 over the Ottawa Senators but tripped up with a 6-3 loss to the Montreal Candiens. They lost 5-4 in overtime against division rivals Winnipeg Jets and lost 2-0 to the Boston Bruins. They have a record of 44-21-6, giving them 94 points to trail the Blackhawks by 3.
The Minnesota Wild are holding to the first Wild Card seed in the Western Conference with 83 points. They managed to do that while going 1-1-2 in their last 4 games. They earned a point in a shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets and an overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils. They recovered from a 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins with a 6-0 win over the New York Islanders. Their record of 36-23-11 puts them 14 points behind the Blackhawks and 11 points from a top 3 seed in the Central Division.
The Dallas Stars were bumped from their position as the second Wild Card of the conference and now trail the Phoenix Coyotes by 4 points. Three straight losses against the Winnipeg Jets, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Philadelphia Flyers dropped their record to 32-23-11 and remain at 75 points since last week. They still hold the 5th spot in the Central Division but are in a desperate race with other conference rivals to make the playoffs.
The Winnipeg Jets earned 4 out of 6 possible points against division rivals last week. They beat the Stars 7-2 and won in overtime 5-4 with the Avalanche. Their loss came against the Blues 3-1. Their record is 32-30-9 with 73 points which puts them 6 points behind the Coyotes for a Wild Card seed.
The Nashville Predators are last in the Central Division with a record of 30-31-10 and 70 points. They lost three straight games to the Blues, Edmonton Oilers, and Vancouver Canucks before their hectic 6-5 win over the Calgary Flames. With 12 games remaining on their season and trailing a Wild Card seed by 9 points, the Predators are still in the picture to make the playoffs.
How many Central Division teams do you think will make the playoffs?