Hockey Article

Central Division Power Rankings: Week 2

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  1. Nashville Predators (5-0-3, 13 pts, 1st in Division): After ending last week with an OT loss to Washington, the Preds dropped two more in extra time to start this week, falling 1-0 to Calgary and 4-3 to Pittsburgh. Of course, they turned around and won their next two games against Dallas and Tampa Bay, both teams off to great starts like the Preds. Pekka Rinne got his first shutout of the year against Dallas, and the Preds have been getting production from all over their lineup. Can anyone beat the Preds in regulation this week?

  2. Detroit Red Wings (5-1-1, 11 pts, 2nd in Division): The Wings played just two games this week, winning both home games against Calgary and Anaheim. Jimmy Howard has shown no signs of a sophomore slump, with 4 wins and a 2.14 GAA in 5 starts. All those questions about Nicklas Lidstrom being ready to retire seem to be put to bed, as he currently leads the team’s defensemen with 7 assists and 8 points through 7 games. The one thing the Wings will have to constantly be on the lookout for is the injury bug, as surprising majority of their roster is over the age of 30, including most of their impact players like Datsyuk, Bertuzzi and Zetterberg.

  3. St. Louis Blues (4-1-2, 10 pts, 4th in Division): With Jaroslav Halak leading the way, the Blues enjoyed quite the week, garnering three points from a home and home with the defending Cup champs and division rival Chicago Blackhawks and earning a hard-fought 1-0 overtime win against Pittsburgh. Youngsters David Perron and TJ Oshie seem to be finally turning the corner, as Perron leads the club with 4 goals and Oshie’s 8 points lead all team scorers. They’ll need to keep it up if they want to remain competitive in what is turning out to be a seriously stacked Central Division that could very well yield four playoff clubs.

Marian Hossa>

  1. Chicago Blackhawks (5-4-1, 11 pts, 3rd in Division): The top line of Tomas Kopecky, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa has been lighting it up, while second line center Patrick Sharp is tied for the league lead in goals with 8. Still, the Hawks had a four-game win streak snapped in St. Louis on Friday, after squeaking out an overtime win against the Blues on Monday and a shootout victory over Vancouver on Wednesday. Losing to Columbus is simply unacceptable, especially for the defending Cup champs, but it did come with starting goalie Marty Turco getting some rest after playing five games in the span of eight days.

  2. Columbus Blue Jackets (4-3-0, 8 pts, 5th in Division): Speaking of the Blue Jackets, in any other division, they’d probably end up faring a whole lot better. They won two of three games this week, including a 3-2 win Saturday night over the Blackhawks, and goalie Steve Mason looks a hell of a lot better than he did last season. The Blue Jackets will have to take points where they can get ‘em this year, and upcoming games against Edmonton and Colorado have to be viewed as prime opportunities.

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