Star Power: Central Division Weekly Recap

Image provided by NHL.com

Image provided by NHL.com

The Dallas Stars have strung together a few wins and are starting to find some traction in the Central Division. They have a battle ahead, but if they keep playing the way they have been, they could get back into the race.

(Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Chicago Blackhawks: (2-0-1)

On The Rise: After a tough shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday the Hawks bounced back on Sunday and shut out the Maple Leafs 4-0. The Hawks need Brad Richards to step up as his lack of production is a concern. One more piece could really help them at this point. They are 8-1-1 in their last 10 and excellent transitional hockey is the main reason. The Hawks have 3 divisional match ups coming their way.

Who’s Hot? Patrick Kane– Kane has 7 points in his last 3 games.

Who’s Not? Brad Richards- Richards has no points in his last 5 games.

Upcoming Schedule- Winnipeg Jets (Tuesday), Colorado Avalanche (Saturday)

 

(Photo by Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

St.Louis Blues: (1-1-1)

On The Fall: The Blues game has dipped a bit. They lost a game to the Kings on Thursday that they needed to close. They started the game taking a 3-0 lead, but watched it melt away into a 6-4 loss. Taking their foot off the gas really hurt them. Against the Sharks on Saturday they surrendered a tying goal with 21 seconds left and eventually lost in overtime. The Blues next 4 games are within the division, so they will be looking to find their game.

Who’s Hot? Jaden SchwartzSchwartz has 4 points in his last 3 games played.

Who’s Not? Jori LehteraLehtera has only 1 point in his last 4 games.

Upcoming Schedule- Colorado Avalanche (Tuesday), Dallas Stars (Saturday).

 

(Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

Nashville Predators: (2-0-0)

On The Rise: The Predators had a nice week, first they beat the Bruins in a shootout, then they managed to pull out 2 points in an overtime game with the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. The Predators saw the Wild tie the game with under a minute to go in the game, but rallied to win in overtime on a goal from Mattias Ekholm. What makes Nashville so good is their ability to get a balanced attack. They always have new guys chipping in which is part of the reason their 7-3-0 in their last 10.

Who’s Hot? Victor Bartley– Bartley has 3 points in his last 2 games.

Who’s Not? Olli JokinenJokinen has no points in his last 3 games played.

Upcoming Schedule- Columbus Blue Jackets (Monday), Boston Bruins (Tuesday), Philadelphia Flyers (Saturday).

 

 

(Photo by Lance Thomson/NHLI via Getty Images)

Winnipeg Jets: (2-0-1)

On The Rise: The Jets ran Buffalo over to start their week and then had a tight win against the Boston Bruins. They looked like they were going to close the week 3-0-0, but saw a 3-1 lead disappear against the Flyers. They would eventually lose in overtime. This team needs Evander Kane to step up and be more consistent. He looks like a different player every shift.

Who’s Hot? Mathieu PerreaultPerreault has a point in his last 5 games.

Who’s Not? Andrew Ladd– Ladd hasn’t produced a point in his last 4 games played.

Upcoming Schedule- Chicago Blackhawks (Tuesday), Minnesota Wild (Saturday).

 

(Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

Minnesota Wild (0-1-2)

On The Fall: Minnesota’s last 2 games went to overtime so they have been close, but this team lacks finish. Guys like Mikael Granlund, Thomas Vanek, and Mikko Koivu haven’t been the game changers the Wild were expecting. After coming back and tying the game against Nashville at home the Wild needed someone to step up and get them the win, instead they looked pleased with 1 point and took the loss.

Who’s Hot? Jason PominvillePominville has 3 points in his last 2 games.

Who’s Not? Mikael Granlund- Granlund has only 1 point in his last 5 games.

Upcoming Schedule- Philadelphia Flyers (Tuesday), Winnipeg Jets (Saturday).

 

(Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Dallas Stars: (3-0-0)

On The Rise: The Stars have won 4 in a row and may finally be getting on the role they need. They came out struggling against the Oilers and were down 5-2 twords the end of the second. The Stars ended up scoring 3 unanswered goals and would take the win in the 8th round of the shootout. Yes the Oilers have struggled, but give the Stars credit for not packing it in when the game seemed over.

Who’s Hot? Jamie BennBenn has 4 points in his last 2 games.

Who’s Not? Jason SpezzaSpezza only has 1 point in his last 3 games.

Upcoming Schedule- Toronto Maple Leafs (Tuesday), St.Louis Blues (Saturday).

 

(Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

Colorado Avalanche: (2-0-1)

On The Rise: The Avalanche are finding points right now, 4 of their last 5 games have gone past 3 periods, and they have won two of them. The Avalanche were able to take out the Sabres 5-1 on Saturday and followed it up by beating the Detroit Red Wings in the shootout on Sunday. Don’t be mistaken the Avalanche have a very long way to go to get back into the race.

Who’s Hot? Erik JohnsonJohnson has 3 points in his last 2 games.

Who’s Not? Ryan O’ReillyO’Reilly has 1 point in his last 4 games.

Upcoming Schedule- St.Louis Blues (Tuesday), Chicago Blackhawks (Saturday)

 

You can follow me on Twitter @StevenLoffredo.

 

 

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