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 5-4-1
Chicago played three games last night but were only able to win one of them, beating Vancouver 2-1 in a shootout. The Blackhawks also lost two divisional games against the Blues (4-2) and Blue Jackets (3-2).
This week Chicago has four games on the schedule. Starting on Wednesday, Chicago hosts the Kings. On Friday and Saturday, the Blackhawks play back to back games when Edmonton visits Chicago and then the Blackhawks go to Minnesota for a Saturday game.
The Blackhawks have unveiled a state of Illinois license plate featuring the hockey team on it. Money raised from the fee goes to chairty. A law in the state from 2002 made it legal for sports teams to have their own state plates but the Blackhawks are the first Illinois pro sports team to go ahead and develop one.
Forward Evan Brophey had a quick stint in the NHL. The 23 year old made he NHL debut on Saturday but got sent back to the Rockford Icehogs of the AHL on Sunday.
Brian Campbell is still out with a sprained knee. Tomas Kopecky is out with an upper body injury but is probably for Wednesday’s game against Los Angeles.
Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3-0
Columbus played four games last week, going 3-0-1 .Columbus beat Anaheim (3-1), Chicago (3-2) and the Flyers but were unable to defeat the Calgary Flames (6-2 loss).
Columbus only plays 2 games this week, taking on Edmonton Wednesday night and Colorado on Saturday.
Nikita Filatov was benched for the last half of the third period during Wednesday night’s win over the Ducks. Head coach Scott Arniel said he didn’t like the competitive level out of Filatov.
The Blue Jackets activated right wing Jared Boll off injured reserve. Boll’s first game back was Monday night against the Flyers. Boll was injured during the season-opener game against the San Jose Sharks in Stockholm, Sweden.
Ethan Moreau broke his hand during the Blue Jackets game against Anaheim. Moreau, who has 1 goal and 1 assist for Columbus in give games this season, is out indefinitely.
Andy Murray (knee) and Mike Commodore (bone chip fracture) remain on injured reserve.
Detroit Red Wings 5-1-1
Detroit only played two games last week, winning them both. Calgary couldn’t get passed Detroit, losing 4-2 on Thursday night. Saturday, the Red Wings beat the Ducks 5-4.
This week, Detroit played Phoenix on Thursday and Nashville visits Joe Louis Arena on Saturday night.
Johan Franzen returned to the lineup this week after missing a couple of games with concussion-like symptoms.
Long term injuries for Detroit include Brian Rafalski (knee surgery), Jonathon Eriksson (back spasms), and Kris Draper (sports hernia). Justin Abdelkader is probable to return for Thursday’s game against the Coyotes. Abdelkader has a rib injury.
St. Louis Blues 4-1-2
Last week St. Louis had a couple of impressive wins doubling Chicago 4-2 and beating the Penguins 1-0 in overtime. St. Louis only has one regulation loss coming at the hands of the Nashville Predators. Nashville is one of two teams the Blues play this week. The Central Division rivals play Thursday night. Atlanta visits the Blues on Saturday night.
Jaroslav Halak was named the second star of the week from the NHL. Halak went 2-0-1 last week with a 1.62 goals-against average, .944 save percentage. Halak also recorded a shutout.
On Saturday night, Sidney Crosby’s skate cut the wrist of defenseman Roman Polak. The 24 year old avoided serious injury but will miss at least one game.
Nikita Nikitin (Broken wrist) and Cam Janssen (concussion) remain the only long-term injured Blues. Roman Polak wrist laceration will be reassessed after the game on Thursday against the Nashville Predators
Are you looking for tickets to an upcoming Predators home game? Follow this link for discounted tickets. Make an account and then use the word Preds as the code for the discount. Predators upcoming home games Thursday night when the St. Louis Blues make their second trip to Smashville this season.