Blackhawks News

Behind Enemy Lines: Central Division Recap

By JoHannah Lowder

Oct 9, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars goalie

Kari Lehtonen

(32) faces Chicago Blackhawks center

Jonathan Toews

(19) during the overtime shootout at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: The Blackhawks win 3-2 in the overtime shootout. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks are finally back in action! They are only a few games into the season, but the fact that every point matters and the Blackhawks have come out on top so far makes every fan excited for the next 80 games. The rest of the Central Division have also played a couple of games, and if they are any indication of the rest of the season, division rivalries are already off to a fast start.

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The St. Louis Blues have played 2 games so far, and both of them at home. They lost their season opener 4-3 against the New York Rangers when Rick Nash scored the game winning goal with less than 2 minutes to play in regulation. Then, they beat the Calgary Flames 4-1 on Saturday.

The Colorado Avalanche are the only team in the Western Conference that have yet to win a game or earn any points. They played back to back games against their Central Division opponent and new hated rival, the Minnesota Wild. It was a 2014 playoffs rematch miniseries of sorts, and the Avs wanted to make up for their surprising Game 7 OT loss to the Wild last post-season. But neither game went as planned. The first game of the season for both teams was the Wild’s home opener and they showed that their win last season was not a fluke. The Wild put up 48 shots on goal and limited the Avalanche to just 16. The Wild won that game 5-0. Two nights later, Colorado had a much stronger showing for their home opener but still lost in a 3-0 shutout.

The Dallas Stars also played their first two games against Central Division rivals. They earned a point in their first home game with a 3-2 in a shootout loss against the Blackhawks. Their loss after dominating the game in the first two periods must have shaken them a little, and they could only muster 18 shots against the Nashville Predators two days later. They lost in Nashville 4-1.

Nashville joins Chicago and Minnesota as Central Division teams winning their first two games. Both games were in Nashville with the Ottawa Senators visiting for their season opener. The Predators walked away with a 3-2 win before they defeated the Stars 4-1 two days later.

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The Winnipeg Jets played their first two games on the road and won’t have their home opener for another 5 days on October 17th. They opened the season in Arizona against the renamed Arizona Coyotes and spoiled the Coyotes home opener with a 6-2 win in the desert. The Jets then lost 3-0 against the San Jose Sharks two nights later.

Even though it is very early in the season, the Minnesota Wild seem to be a team to watch out for. They gave Chicago a tough time in the playoffs last season and have yet to allow a goal in 2 games while scoring 8 goals. They play the Blackhawks for the first time this season on December 16th in Chicago.

Which Central Division team do you think will be Chicago’s toughest challenge this season?

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