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 4-2-1

Chicago played three games last week, losing 3-2 to the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night, but bounced back to beat Columbus 5-2 and Buffalo 4-3. On Monday night, the Blackhawks played St. Louis edging the Blues 3-2 in overtime.

This week Chicago face the Vancouver Canucks and also has rematches with the Blues and Blue Jackets.

Last Tuesday the NHL suspended defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson 2 games for his illegal hit on Buffalo’s Jason Pominville.

PHILADELPHIA - JUNE 02: Simon Gagne #12 of the Philadelphia Flyers scores a goal against Antti Niemi #31 (not pictured) and Niklas Hjalmarsson #4 of the Chicago Blackhawks in the second period in Game Three of the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Wachovia Center on June 2, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Hjalmarsson says he regrets the hit on Buffalo’s Pominville (Photo: Yardbarker.com)

19-year-old defenseman Nick Leddy has been sent down to play with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.

Injuries:

Patrick Kane didn’t make last week’s trip to Columbus because he was sick. There are no other new injuries
for the Blackhawks but Brian Campbell is still out with a sprained knee.

Columbus Blue Jackets 2-2

The Blue Jackets played two games last week, splitting the decisions. The Blue Jackets lost their home opener on Friday to Chicago, 5-2, but bounced back the next day when they traveled to Minnesota and edged the Wild 3-2.

This week is a busy one for the Blue Jackets. They have four games on the schedule, including a rematch against Chicago, and visits from Anaheim, Calgary and Philadelphia.

Tomas Kana was activated off injured reserve and assigned to the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League.

Injuries:

The Blue Jackets are light(er) on defense right now. Mike Commodore has a chip fracture in his thumb. The team has no specific timetable for his return. Anton Stralman is also injured. Stralman was injured in the third period of the Chicago game when he was checked awkwardly.

Jared Boll was placed on injured reserve. Boll was injured in the first game of the season against San Jose in Sweden. The forward is listed as having a back injury.

Andrew Murray remains on injured reserve with a knee injury.

Detroit Red Wings 3-1-1

Detroit played Colorado, Dallas and Phoenix last week, seeing mixed results. The Red Wings lost to the Avs in a shootout by a 5-4 score, lost to Dallas 4-1, and edged the Coyotes 2-1.

Detroit only has 4 games left this month, all at home. This week, Calgary visits the Red Wings on Thursday, Anaheim on Saturday.

Mike Babcock signed a 4-year contract extension with Detroit.

SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 08: Head coach Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings walks off the ice after losing to the San Jose Sharks in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on May 8, 2010 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Looking cool and collected, Babcock isn’t leaving Detroit any time soon (Photo: Yardbarker.com)

Kirk Maltby officially announced his retirement after having been put on, and clearing, waivers. It was also announced the Maltby would remain with the organization as a scout.

Defenseman Doug Janik was called up from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League with the Rafalski injury. Janik’s first game of the season was last Tuesday against the Colorado Avalanche where he got into a fight (and lost) with Cody McLeod.

Injuries:

The injury bug has hit Detroit hard for the second straight year. Kris Draper is out with a torn groin. Brian Rafalski is expected to miss a month with arthroscopic knee surgery on an injury he first sustained as an 18 year old. Jonathon Ericsson is out with back spasms. Johan Franzen is questionable for Thursday with a head injury and Justin Abdelkader is out with bruised ribs.

St. Louis Blues 2-1-2

After a quick 2-0 start, the St. Louis Blues had a tough time last week, losing their first game of the season against the Predators by a 4-3 score. The Blues would go on to lose in overtime against Dallas on Saturday night. Monday, the Blues took on Chicago, but lost in overtime 3-2.

This week the Blues have back to back games Friday and Saturday night hosting both Chicago and Pittsburgh.

The Blues sent forward Ryan Reaves to the Peoria Rivermen of the American Hockey League. Reaves played against Anaheim had registered 15 minutes in penalties in that one game.

Injuries:

Cam Janssen is still out with a concussion. Vladmir Sobotka had shoulder injury and Nikita Nikitin has a broken right wrist. St. Louis is 2-1-1 on the season.

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

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