Central Division Shakedown

Every Tuesday, Predlines will be bringing you the latest news and analysis from the Central Division. Because the Predators success largely depends on the failures of our divisional opponents, we need to track their every move throughout the regular, post and off season. If we’ve left something of note out, contact us at [email protected]

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks are having a tough first week of action, dropping their first two decisions….
Chicago lost on the road in overtime to Colorado and then had their home opener spoiled Saturday night when the Detroit Red Wings visited the United Center. On Monday night, the Buffalo Sabres couldn’t hold on to a 2-0 lead and lost to the Stanley Cup champions 4-3.

Injuries:

Patrick Sharp didn’t play Saturday’s home opener with what was described as an upper body injury. He was expected to, and did, play on Monday against the Sabres.

Due to a preseason injury, Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell sprained his medial collateral ligament in his knee and is expected to miss 4-5 weeks.

DETROIT - SEPTEMBER 24: Jordan Owens of the Detroit Red Wings tries to get around the stick of Brian Campbell of the Chicago Blackhawks during a pre season game on September 24, 2010 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Just how bad will Chicago miss Brian Campbell in the coming month? (Photo: Yardbarker.com)

Next game for Chicago comes on Wednesday night when they host the Nashville Predators. The Predators opened their season on Saturday with a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks, but haven’t played since.

The Sporting News named Chicago the best sports city in America.

Columbus Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets started the NHL season playing in Europe, splitting a pair of games with the San Jose Sharks in Stockholm, Sweden. San Jose won the first game by a 3-2 score and the following day Columbus took the decision by the same 3-2 score but needed overtime to finish the Sharks.

The home opener for the Blue Jackets is on Friday night when the Chicago Blackhawks visit Nationwide Arena.

If you are in the Columbus area, how about this for a deal: for $30 you get a game ticket, $10 food voucher, a Tim Horton’s (best coffee/donuts in the world) mug, 10 Tim Horton’s tim-bits (small tonight donuts), and a Blue Jackets hat. WOW!

The Blue Jackets signed forward Oliver Gabriel to a three-year standard entry level contract with a cap hit of $623, 333 each year at the NHL level. Gabriel plays in the Western Hockey League for the Portland Winterhawks.

Injuries:

Columbus placed two forwards on injured reserve, Andrew Murray and Tomas Kana. Murray is listed as having a lower body injury and is expected to be out 2-3 weeks. Kana has a hand injury and should be back next week.

The Blue Jackets announced this week that it has reached an agreement with the Fort Wayne Komets to serve as the Central Hockey League affiliate for the Blue Jackets for this season. The Springfield Falcons are the American Hockey League affiliate for Columbus.

Detroit Red Wings

Kirk Maltby was put on waivers, cleared, and sent to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League. Maltby may retire instead of reporting to the AHL and was given the weekend to think about his decision. As of Monday evening at 9 pm CT, there was no word out of the Maltby camp regarding a decision. Maltby played with the Red Wings since the 1995-1996 season.

PITTSBURGH - JUNE 09: Kirk Maltby #18 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins during Game Six of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals at the Mellon Arena on June 9, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Maltby wasn’t able to crack the Red Wings roster this year (Photo: Yardbarker.com)

The Red Wings have started on a hot streak, shutting out the Anaheim Ducks 4-0 to win their home opener, then beating the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-2, the following night, spoiling Chicago’s home opener.
Detroit’s next game is tonight when the Red Wings host the Colorado Avalanche.

Mike Modano scored in his first goal as a Detroit Red Wing.

Pavel Datsyuk won’t be winning the Lady Byng trophy this year at the NHL Awards. He got into a fight against Anaheim’s Corey Perry on Friday night. Check out this video if you haven’t seen it!

Injuries:

Defenseman Jonathon Ericsson left the Ducks game on Friday night with back spasms and missed Saturday’s game in Chicago.

St. Louis Blues

The St. Louis Blues opened their NHL season with a win over the Philadelphia Flyers, 2 to 1 in overtime. Monday afternoon, the Anaheim Ducks’ woes continued as St. Louis beat them 5-1. In three games against Central Division teams, Anaheim has let in 13 goals and scored 2.

The Blues next game is Thursday night when they visit Nashville. It will be the second game in a back-to-back series for the Predators.

Injuries:

Cam Janssen will miss at least the next two weeks because of a concussion. Janssen left the game on Saturday against the Flyers after a collision near the Blues bench and did not return to the game. Ryan Reaves was called up from the Peoria Rivermen of the AHL. The 23 year old made his NHL debut Monday afternoon.

File this promotion under what?! The Blues wanted to sell an additional 600 seats, and are advertising that they will charge the season ticket holder 50% of the cost of each seat, with the fans paying the remaining 50% only if the team makes the playoffs. This is real. From the St. Louis Post Dispatch:

Using a new and unique ticket promotion, the Blues are allowing fans who purchase season tickets for select seats to pay half of the bill now and the other half when the Blues make the 2010-11 playoffs…”We feel good about the team and we want to sell more season tickets and get more people in the building,” said Peter McLoughlin, CEO of St. Louis Blues Enterprises. “We think it’s a smart, creative program, and we expect people who buy into this program are going to be paying 100 percent of the cost.”

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Tags: Chicago Blackhawks Columbus Blue Jackets Detroit Red Wings Nashville Predators NHL St. Louis Blues

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