Central Division: Blackhawks Up

Just two games into the season and already Chicago is at the top of the Central Division standings. I guess it could be worse. It could be Detroit. (Well, maybe not this year.)

Around The Central Division: January 21, 2013

Central Division leaders the Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago has scored 11 goals in two games. (PHOTO: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)

YESTERDAY

Chicago Blackhawks 6, Phoenix Coyotes 4

After an early start on Saturday, the Blackhawks played the late game last night in Phoenix. The extra rest didn’t slow them down; in fact, their offense actually upped its production from the day before. Marian Hossa bagged two more goals to give him four on the early season, while Dave Bolland added two more plus an assist.

Replacing the injured Dan Carcillo was Brandon Saad, who went 0-for-2 on shots but was +1 with a hit and a blocked shot in 13:31. Blackhawk Up has a recap.

Transactions

Detroit recalled G Thomas McCollum from Grand Rapids (AHL) and placed F Jan Mursak on injured reserve.
Nashville reassigned D Victor Bartley to Milwaukee (AHL).

Standings

Chicago’s off to a quick start with 11 goals but they’ve also given up six. And they’ve already lost one veteran center to injury. Will a Blackhawk do his best Red Wing impression and injure himself before Chicago takes on St. Louis on Tuesday? What will it take to slow the Blackhawk offense down? We get to wait at least a day to find out.

TODAY

After kicking off with two intradivision games on Saturday, two more make up the schedule for the Central Division today.

Scott Hannan is new to the Central Division

Scott Hannan makes his “O” face. Oh, oh, oh… (PHOTO: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports)

St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators
5:00 p.m. CST
FOX Sports Tennessee

The Preds won 4 of 6 from the Blues last season. But given the way the two teams’ opening games went, St. Louis has to be considered the favorite for this game. Jaroslav Halak opened the season with a shutout. He’ll be between the pipes once again for this game. And then there’s that Vladimir Tarasenko fellow.

A Nashville win in this game would move Nashville ahead of St. Louis, with the bonus effect of helping wash away some of the bad taste from losing to the Blue Jackets. Depending on the outcome of tonight’s other divisional game, it could even move them into second place behind the Blackhawks. The team has to feel good knowing that, and hopefully it can serve as a motivator. Check out our preview of the game. Or lay with the enemy. Your choice!

Silky Johnson, Player Hater Of The YearDetroit Red Wings at Columbus Blue Jackets
6:30 p.m. CST
NBC Sports Network

Detroit got stomped in its first game and its roster shelters more injured players than Silky Johnson Memorial Hospital. Even its new backup goalie is down with the dreaded groin pull. The mood is dour after Saturday but the Motown faithful haven’t all started pulling their hair out yet. At least one Detroit blogger thinks a dose of reason is in order.

Can the new-look Columbus team take advantage and open the season 2-0-0 for just the second time in franchise history? Can Detroit salvage some pride and recover from its first season-opening loss since 2009-10? National viewers can tune in on the NBC Sports Network to find out. Check out Detroit’s side of the preview.

Topics: Central Division, Nashville Predators

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  • Oakforest72

    Blackhawk Up is headlining the Nashville blog!! Priceless!!

    • http://predlines.com/ Jason Kirk

      Well, it’s all about the Central Division, and they were yesterday’s only story, so…