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" NHL Season Preview - Pacific Division"
Canada, AB • Canada • 28 Years Old • Male
Next, I looked at the Central Division

Columbus Blue Jackets

Could this be the year the Columbus Blue Jackets make the playoffs... NO. However they will be better. Mainly because the Columbus Blue Jackets fired Doug MacLean and heired Scott Howson. Also the team got immediately better last year when they heired Ken Hitchcock. The Blue Jackets are stacked with young talent up front but I'm not sure how they are going to stop the puck from ending up in their own net. They went 3 - 5 against Detroit last year and they were and the went a perfect 0 - 8 against Nashville last year. I sure they will be able to beat Nashville a few more times this year, mainly because Nashville got a lot worse. Look for Columbus to bet at the bottom again.

Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago looks like they are on the right path to making the playoffs, unfortunately it will not be this year. Mainly because their best player, Martin Havlat, cannot stay healthy. He has never played a full 82 games and only twice has he played more then 70 games. Chicago is a good team with Havlat in the lineup and should be able to take many points off of Columbus, Nashville and St. Louis. The problem is if Havlat is out of the line up for an extended period of time, they will be at the bottom of the Central Division along side the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Nashville Predators

There are a lot of question marks around the Nashville Predators. But it looks like the Predators are going to have a tough time making the playoffs this year. They have lost many players to free agency and now have lost Sullivan for three months. They still have Dumont, Legwand and Arnott, but I'm not sure if thats enough to carry them into the playoffs. The best thing they have going for them is that they play in the Central Division.

St. Louis Blues

Paul Karia will not carry this team into the playoffs. I really don't understand how a team that signs one good free agent and then signs one they traded away at last years trade deadline, suddenly becomes a cup contender. They are still a year away.. maybe two. Talk about over hyped. Whatever it takes to get fans in the building I guess. I hate to tell you this John Davidson, but once your team takes to the ice, your fans will see the truth about the blues and they will find something else to occupy their time. If your lucky they might try again next year.
If St. Louis does get close to the playoffs this year, it will be because of the other teams in the Central Division crapping the bed.

Detroit Red Wings

As always the Detroit Red Wings will be atop the Central Division. With an impressive defense, led by Lidstrom and an alway potent offense led by Zetterberg and Datsyuk , the Wings will be destroying the Central Division. I would expect Detroit to have an exemplary record against the divisional opponents. Something like 24W - 8L in inter-divisional play is not unrealistic. So what about the goal tending this year? its the same as always....and that is, its their only possible weakness. Last year Hasek stayed healthy, but I doubt it will happen again this year. Even if Hasek breaks down this year, the wing will not have to worry untill the playoffs start. I'm sure Osgood or Berkhoel can keep it together until the games start to matter.

Central Division Projected Results

1. Detroit Red Wings
2. Chicago Blackhawks
3. St. Louis Blues
4. Nashville Predators
5. Columbus Blue Jackets

All these teams have similar questions about their goal tending, but with Detroit's offense, defense and most importantly, experience... the Wings will do what they always do and make the regular season marathon look like a walk in the park. I think its is possible that this year, only one team in the Central Division will make the playoffs. Detroit is in thats a given, as for the rest.. its a crap shoot for them to get one of the last playoff spots in the Western Conference.

August 30, 2007 11:12 AM ET | Delete
I don't think anyone is claiming they'll win the Cup but you fail to see that after Andy Murray took over mid season last year, the Blues had one of the better records in the league. Add Kariya, bring back Tkachuk, McKee and Legace are healthy again and add last years first overall pick in Erik Johnson. There's your hype. Yes, the Blues are a year or two away from contending for the Cup but they will contend for a playoff spot this year.
August 30, 2007 11:35 AM ET | Delete
I don't think you know what you're talking about, lol. The Blues are going to be great this year. Their defense was stingy as can be last season and now they have the offensive power to complement it. Every game they played against Nashville was extremely hard fought. And for Nashville you forgot a few guys named Radulov and Erat, plus a lot nastier team. I think we've become similar to St. Louis and Anaheim in a lot of ways. FAR more defensive-oriented than last year. There are absolutely no questions about our goaltending, as Mason had better stats than Vokoun last year.
August 30, 2007 12:37 PM ET | Delete
I think its hillarious that everyone thinks that the Jackets were at the bottom last year, when they were ahead of both Chicago and St. Louis
August 30, 2007 12:56 PM ET | Delete
??? I think it's hilarious that people spout off about stuff that they don't bother looking up. The Columbus BJ's finished eight points behind St. Louis and two points ahead of Chicago.
August 30, 2007 1:13 PM ET | Delete
This might help you hckeyisgd http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?service=page
August 30, 2007 8:18 PM ET | Delete
you got 2 and 4 backwards. although stl will have something to say about that 2 spot as well. also if the central is so weak, which it is, seems to me more than 1 team gets in
August 30, 2007 11:35 PM ET | Delete
The Blues as overhyped? I wish! lol The Blues and the Preds are darn near even in terms of talent right now, so I don't think its out of the question that either of them finish second in the Central...but the Hawks finishing second? They still have a long way to go, even with Havlat.
August 31, 2007 10:16 AM ET | Delete
Does it really matter, Detroit is the only really good team in this division.
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