Posted Friday, September 11, 2009 10:38 PM
Expectations are High for the Central Division Teams
The Central is the best and deepest division in the NHL. 4 teams made the playoffs last year and expectations are high again for those 4 teams. The 5th team (Nashville) only missed the playoffs by 3 points! That is the definition of a deep division. In fact, the Central was the only division where all of their teams had a winning record at home. Each team won at least 23 games at home. It was also the only division where each team won at least 16 games on the road. The Atlantic is the only other division that can claim to be the best, but the Islanders drag them into 2nd place.
Detroit and Chicago have very high expectations and anything less than a trip to the conference finals will be considered a disappointment. Columbus and St. Louis are both expected to make the playoffs again this year and perhaps win a round. Nashville probably won't make the playoffs, but they are easily the toughest last place team to play against.
Who knows how the year will play out. Last year at this time the 5 starting goalies for these teams were Osgood, Huet, LeClaire, Legace, and Ellis......... Chris Osgood was the only one to keep his job during last season even though he was terrible in the regular season. Khabibulin, S. Mason, C. Mason, and Rinne ended up as the #1 goalies for the other teams due to injury and/or poor play from the guys that started the year as the starters.