Hockey Correspondent, White Cover Magazine
*These are my previews for every NHL division and my predictions of what lies ahead for all five teams of all six divvies in this shortened, 48-game regular season. I intend to keep each team’s summary to two sentences or less. Not because I’m succinct or concise, but because I’m tired and lazy and I don’t want to write very much.
Nashville Predators: Just like that, the Predators finally blasted the Red Wings and then watched one of their franchise players bolt for Minnesota. They also lost two Russian prima donnas, but the Preds are still as solid as they were at the beginning of 2012.
Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings are going without Nicklas Lidstrom for the first time since Kennedy was President, and they’re entering unchartered defensive waters — a position they don’t know nor have been it. It’s hard to bet against the Wings, but it’s hard to stack your chips for them, too.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Just turn to the future, Columbo. Keep that hope on your horizon.
Chicago Blackhawks: The Hawks somehow slipped to sixth last season, but they’re ripe for another run at the Stanley Cup. Believe it or not, a lot of people have forgotten about the NHL’s most dangerous team.
St. Louis Blues: Oh, right… the Blues topped the Central in 2012, didn’t they? Well, they’re just as young and just as strong down the centre. There are no holes on this St. Louis team.
1. Chicago Blackhawks
2. Nashville Predators
3. St. Louis Blues
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Columbus Blue Jackets
It’s a damned hornets nest from top-to-bottom. It’s hard to imagine the Red Wings falling to fourth, but I don’t mean it personally. Detroit always finds a way to win, but I’d still like to see them become the most terrifying eighth seed in playoff history, wouldn’t you?