Rich Howe’s Rankings (@Rich_Howe_9)
The Carolina Hurricanes are in the top spot this week due to the hot streak they have going at the moment. They have won four straight, but their last three are of the most interest. They defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning and followed that up with consecutive wins against the Dallas Stars.
Carolina is a tough team who relies on their skill and skating abilities to get the job done. I like their game at the moment.
The 2nd and 3rd slots are pretty interchangeable. Dallas and Tampa Bay are very hard to win against as they both boast top goaltenders. They show some holes in their games, which is good news for the other teams in the Central.
If all of the other teams can step up to these two teams and give them a taste of their own medicine, then success is to be had. The Columbus Blue Jackets are playing pretty good hockey and continue to pick up points. They share the top spot in the division with Florida.
However, Columbus remains an enigma as they have struggled against lesser teams and flourished against some of the stronger ones. The Panthers have only lost one game, but have yet to face one of the big boys of the Central. The majority of Florida’s wins have required extra time.
Finally, we have the bottom three. The Nashville Predators took a big dive this week due to their inability to play a full 60 minutes and their woeful special teams.
The Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings are interchangeable at the moment. Both seem to make some headway but then face stronger teams and slide back down. The Blackhawks have lost seven games overall.
Having only won two games, the Red Wings can’t seem to catch a break or gain any traction.