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This fact is proven with the Blackhawks beating the Red Wings for yet a fourth time already this season, keep in mind the Wings only have five regulation losses, with the other coming against another central division team, the Blues.

The Central Division is home to the best team in the Western Conference, the Red Wings, and no other division currently has every single team with at least 20 points.

The Nashville Predators have been one of the hottest teams as of late, despite their shootout loss to the Blues last night.

And as for the Blues, they might be sitting at the bottom of the division right now, but they have played only 17 games, whereas everyone else in division ha splayed at least 19 games. The Blues will rise up in the standing in time as they played those games in hand.

Columbus is a very solid defensive team and have a great offense led by Rick Nash. Adam Foote is a great leader in that locker room and the Jackets have one of the top goalies so far this season, in Pascal Leclaire. Not to mention they have veterans like Sergei Fedorov and Michael Peca.

The Blackhawks are the talk of the league right now, as nobody can match the amount of talent in their young guns. First overall pick last year Patrick Kane has broken out earlier than expected but he is a great player, did you see the goal he scored two weeks ago? It might just be the goal of the year so far.

The Hawks also have Jonathan Toews, Rene Bourque, Patrick Sharp (who scored a hat-trick against Detroit last night), and remember, they still have young gun Tuomu Rutuu on the team. Just imagine if they had a healthy Martin Havlat. Robert Lang was a brilliant addition in the off-season, he is a perfect veteran leader and he sets his example on the ice, especially his scoring against his old team, the Wings.

Every night will be a dogfight within the central division this year when these teams play each other and with the new scheduling bringing division teams 8 games against each other, their records within their division will go a long way in determining their overall standing in the Western Conference.

Detroit - 27 points
Chicago - 23 points
Nashville - 22 points
Columbus - 21 points
St. Louis - 20 points

Any thoughts on what division you think might be the best?
November 18, 2007 2:49 PM ET | Delete
Nice article.
November 18, 2007 3:13 PM ET | Delete
I had no idea this division would be this competitive. I thought the Blues would be a playoff team with competition from Nashville, but Chicago and Columbus are complete surprises. And even Nashville and the Blues are playing much better than I expected. Every team in the division is above .500! That's crazy!
November 18, 2007 9:05 PM ET | Delete
this is gonna be a great year in the Central!
November 18, 2007 9:21 PM ET | Delete
everything you said is correct BUT even though the wings are doing poorly against chicago they will pick it up against them as the year goes on.the blues loss was all haseks fault.i personally think ozzie should be the starter and depending on how he does the wings have 6 million in cap space and gm kenny holland will bring in the goalie if need be come trade deadline.all in all i think the whole division has a great shot of making the playoffs and im excited about that.BUT DONT FORGET THE WINGS ARE THE BEST TEAM THERE.
November 18, 2007 11:28 PM ET | Delete
agreed except that the other loss detriot suffered in regualtion was to anaheim. in other word chicago 3 regulation wins, blues one and anaheim one. the other game chicago won against the wings was in overtime, and a shootout if i remember correctly.
November 19, 2007 9:44 AM ET | Delete
I believe you are correct Guruu...The Central is definately the most exciting so far into the season. I think the reason the division is so close is not just limited to the offseason improvements. Every Central team has simply scored more goals than they've allowed. The exception is Nashville, but they're sitting at 55 GF-55GA. Even though I'm glad to see the Blackhawks back on the map, I'm also excited to see the rivalries heat back up. Go Hawks!
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