As of Monday morning, four Central Division teams had identical 6-3-1 records in their past 10 games. The fifth team, St. Louis, really deviated from the pack with a 6-2-2 mark.
Talk about parity.
Long gone are the days of Detroit beating up on everybody in its division en route to the Presidents’ Trophy. The story of a strengthened Central goes well beyond the rise of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Columbus is poised to make the playoffs for the first time, Nashville is still sturdy under Barry Trotz and St. Louis has more or less decided to stop allowing goals of late.
It’s very conceivable all five Central clubs could make the post-season, solidifying its status as the toughest division in hockey.
Hey Marty, how does that elbow feel?
Just can't see giving up a boatload for Chris Pronger when Boston already has Zdeno Chara
Ryane Clowe, who gets a bit lost among San Jose's stars, could still hit 30 goals with a strong finish
Just two losses in their past 12 contests
Could you imagine if they did land Niklas Backstrom from Minnesota? Goodbye goalie questions
Heading out for a seven-game road trip beginning Tuesday in Ottawa
Boy, Ovie sure took Don Cherry's criticism to heart
Antti Niemi made 22 saves to win his first NHL start last Sunday against the Kings
Doesn't feel like they can play with the East's true big boys yet, but more great goaltending from Martin Biron would help
Probably prudent not to give up too much in any deal for Olli Jokinen at this point
Takes a pretty good team to walk into Washington and hammer the Caps 6-2 as the Panthers did Sunday
Jaroslav Halak has been great, but he shouldn't have to make 40 saves a night
Finally broke through with 17 goals over their past three games.
Have allowed one goal or less in seven of their past eight games
Nobody would be crazy about seeing these guys in Round 1 if they sneak into the playoffs
I know Nikolai Zherdev had three points in John Tortorella's first win as Rangers coach, but why do I have this vision of Torts someday putting the Russian in a stranglehold similar to the one Homer clamps on Bart?
In the midst of a playoff battle, the Oilers play nine of their next 13 away from home
Blowing two-goal leads in the third period to Atlanta is not the way to lock down a playoff spot
New beginning will serve Ryan Whitney well
Can't lose both Backstrom and Marian Gaborik for nothing
Would anyone take Maxim Afinogenov at this point?
Tim Stapleton gets a shootout winner in his first NHL game and his first "real" goal in his second
Jack Johnson is going to make Carolina regret its odd decision to trade him to L.A.
GM Bryan Murray has said the Sens will be sellers, but who's wearing the 'For Sale' signs?
Have scored just six total goals in losing five straight
Just wait until next year - wherever that may be
It would be a coup if this team got a top prospect for Kari Lehtonen
Mark Recchi can still fill a role on a good team
Trading Bill Guerin can only help the prospects of drafting No. 1 next June
Hit the road and completely bottomed out, getting outscored 19-6 while losing four straight
The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 each Monday based on a combination of last week’s play and a squad’s overall outlook.
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