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]
If the playoffs started today, all five Central Division teams would make the playoffs. Chicago would be the #2 seed with St. Louis 4th, Detroit 5th, Nashville 6th and Columbus coming in at 8th place in the very competitive Western Conference.
Chicago Blackhawks 7-6-1
The Blackhawks had a busy week playing four games. Wednesday night, Chicago beat the Kings by a 3-1 score, but on Friday were handed a beating by the Edmonton Oilers, 7-4. On Saturday Chicago beat the Wil 3-1 but Monday night they were edged by the New York Rangers 3-2.
This week, Chicago’s schedule is a little lighter with three games on the schedule. The Blackhawks are also going to meet a couple of struggling teams. On Wednesday, New Jersey visits Chicago. The Devils are having a rough start to the season and just got real bad news that Zach Parise is expected to miss the next three months of hockey. On Friday, the Blackhawks then travel to Atlanta for a game against the Blackhawks East, the Thrashers. It will be interesting to see how so many former Blackhawks play against their last year’s teammates. Saturday the Blackhawks are home to host the Oilers. Edmonton surprised the Stanley Cup champs once this year, but can they do it again?
Defenseman Brian Campbell was activated off injured reserve.
Marian Hossa is expected to miss a couple weeks with an upper-body injury suffered in the second period of Wednesday’s 3-1 victory against the Los Angeles Kings. The nature of the injury was not made public.
Dave Bolland was placed on injured reserve over the weekend. The team hasn’t disclosed what happened to him but he isn’t expected to miss much more time than a week.
Columbus Blue Jackets 6-4-0
Thursday, Columbus edged the Oilers 3-2. Saturday night they Colorado Avalanche hosted the Blue Jackets and won that game convincingly by a 5-1 score.
The Blue Jackets play three games this week. Tuesday the host Montreal. On Thursday they will visit Atlanta and on Saturday Columbus hosts Minnesota.
The biggest news for the Blue Jackets happened off the ice.
Blue Jackets center Derick Brassard was quoted by CKAC in Montreal as saying that he didn’t think the new owner of the team knew hockey and that the fans weren’t supporting the team, with the conclusion being Columbus should probably be included in discussions with Atlanta and Phoenix and Florida for relocation. Ouch. Brassard says he was misquoted and explained at length what really was said and just how his comments were taken out of context. You can read his apology and explanation in The Columbus Dispatch.
There are no new injuries since last week to report.
Detroit Red Wings 6-2-1
Last week, Detroit lost to Phoenix 4-2 on Thursday, but bounced back against Nashville on Saturday night. Detroit won by a convincing 5-2 score.
This week, Detroit plays four games starting Wednesday night when the Red Wings kick off a Western Canadian tour in Calgary. On Friday, Detroit plays Edmonton and then travels to Vancouver for a Saturday game. Monday night, Detroit is back home when Phoenix comes visits Motor City.
Detroit signed Landon Ferraro, the team’s second round pick in 2009, to a three-year entry level contract. Details about the contract were not released by the team and have not been added on capgeek.com.
Justin Abdelkader returned to the lineup for the first time this season. Juri Hudler took a seat. Jonathon Ericsson is set to play on Wednesday night. Ericsson missed time with back spasms.
Detroit has some serious goaltending issues. Both Jimmy Howard and Chris Osgood both suffered injuries. Howard is out with back spasms and Osgood has a groin injury. According to Detroit’s official twitter page, Howard is expected to start on Wednesday against Calgary.
St. Louis Blues 6-1-2
St. Louis played two games last week. They visited the Bridgestone Arena on Thursday night. St. Louis shut out the Predators 3-0. The Blues also hosted Atlanta on Saturday and came back from a 3-1 third period deficit to win 4-3 in a shootout. This week, the Blues host San Jose on Thursday night before heading out on the road for an Eastern Conference road trip. St. Louis visits Boston on Friday and New York to take on the Rangers on Saturday night.
An update on defenseman Roman Polak. The Blues announced that Polak had surgery to repair a severed tendon in his right wrist on Thursday, Oct. 28. Polak’s wrist was cut by Sidney Crosby’s skate during the Blues 1-0 overtime win against Pittsburgh on Saturday, Oct. 23. Polak will be out of the lineup indefinitely.
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. The next Predators home game is Saturday night, November 13th when the Preds take on the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.