Jan 9, 2012, 9:33 AM EST
You know all about Chicago and Detroit and their game last night shows why they’re still the marquee matchup in the Central Division, but things are different this year.
Detroit’s win put them back in first place but it’s a lead that’s perilous at best as both Chicago and St. Louis are equal to them in points with 53. Factor in the Nashville Predators with 48 and you’ve got a division race that’s set up to be one of the best in the NHL this year.
With Ken Hitchcock taking over St. Louis and helping the Blues realize their potential, it’s no longer just Detroit and Chicago treating the other three teams like also-rans. The steady improvement of Nashville over the years and the Blues return to glory have made the Central Division into a four-way dance for one of the top spots in the Western Conference. Sorry Columbus, but your bad season couldn’t have come at a worse time.
After seeing the Pacific Division manage to put four out of five teams in the playoffs last year, the Central is where it’s at this season.
- Byfuglien out 2-4 weeks with upper-body injury; Little hurt, too 9
- Bettman concedes there are ‘some members of the NHL family who would like to see fewer shootouts’ 40
- Season over: Avs lose MacKinnon to broken foot 19
- Playoff watch — what the bubble teams need to do 18
- Bruins sign Krug and Smith to contract extensions 35
- Lawyer: Ribeiro to ‘vigorously fight’ $1M lawsuit alleging abuse of ex-nanny (Updated) 15
- In praise of the Hamburglar 14
- Leafs’ Panik latest to be fined for diving 9
- Connor McDavid is just on fire right now 21
- Video: Zidlicky’s first goal with Detroit gives Red Wings OT win over Rangers 32