Friday, October 1, 2010

NHL Preview - Western Conference - Central Division

The baseball season has been going on forever, and we are not at the playoffs yet.  The NBA does not want to play defense anymore, thank god for Hockey.  Time to get out that sweater thats been in the closet since last June.  I know personally I still have not washed my Patrick Kane jersey I was wearing during game #6, and I do not think I will ever wash it.  Its going to be a very tough road out of the Western Conference this year, because it seems like all the good teams got better.  Even the St. Blues signed Halak from Montreal, they might finally get out of the basement.  Let's take a little bit closer look at the Western Conference Central Division:

The Chicago Blackhawks - The Stanley Cup Champions, wow that sounds great just writing that, might have lost half of the team due to the cap, but they did sign Marty Turco.  Kane and Toews return this year to lead this team that still has great players like Keith and Seabrook on the first line defense.  Also back is Sharp and Hossa.  The Hawks are still going to be a power to be reckoned with this year in the Central division.  The Central division looks to be the toughest of the Western conference and maybe the NHL all together.

The Detroit Red Wongs - The Red Wongs will be tough next year, they suffered alot of injuries last year putting them at a disadvantage in the playoffs.  They will be fresher this year which is a total disappointment if you are a fan of any other team in this division.  Mike Modano was also signed in the off season after playing his last game for the Stars.  I am not very happy with his decision but that is life, when you think of Mike you think of that Star on his chest not some wheel with a flame.  Oh well, with that said that is about as objective as I can be about the Detroit Red Wongs

The Nashville Predators - A team that I feel strongly that is a player or two away from really doing some damage in the playoffs.  They ran into the Blackhawks last year in the playoffs and if it was not for some bounces that went the Blackhawks way they would have taken them down.  Especially the bounce off Kane from almost center ice that fooled the goalie and went straight into the net.  The Predators play solid defense and you have to earn every goal scored on them.  I really like this team, should be another good season for the Predators.

The St. Louis Blues - Like I mentioned before the Blues got busy in the off-season signing Montreal goal tender Halak.  This should greatly improve their team and they should be able to win alot more games.  This also should help them get out of the basement of this division.  They have had a rough go of it the last 10 or so years.  They are doing very well in the 2010 pre-season at 4-2-0 and they are leading the division at this point.  Unfortunately this does not count so hopefully they will be able bounce back this year, and be competitive.

The Columbus Blue Jackets - Entering their 10th season in the league,  the Blue Jackets look to get back to the playoffs and win a game.  This is easier said then done though.  I have been a little critical of the team for their lack of signing big time free agents.  Rick Nash is not getting any younger and I worry that his and the Blue Jackets opportunity window is closing fast.  He is hands down the best place on the team by far.  I think he could be even better if he had more quality help.  Honestly though with all the teams in this division its going to be hard for the Blue Jackets to make a push this year.  I hope that they get it together and play well.

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