In the past, we could always count on the Detroit Red Wings to represent the Central Division come the postseason. Sometimes we'd see the Chicago Blackhawks or Nashville Predators make it in, but they usually wouldn't stay around for too long. That will all change this season because as of March 30th, all five Central Division teams would make the playoffs if they were to start today.
No. 1 San Jose Sharks vs. No. 8 St. Louis Blues
No. 2 Detroit Red Wings vs. No. 7 Nashville Predators
No. 3 Calgary Flames vs. No. 6 Columbus Blue Jackets
No. 4 Chicago Blackhawks vs. No. 5 Vancouver Canucks
Obviously this can all change before the postseason actually begins, but for the past couple days the entire Central has been represented in the top eight seeds. Pretty impressive for a division that was considered the vastly inferior Western Conference division just a couple seasons ago. And as On The Forecheck points out, the media is taking notice including Sports Illustrated and The Hockey News.
FYI- The Wings are 14-5-1 against Central Division opponents this year. How does that compare to the other divisions? Detroit is 11-3-5 versus the Northwest, 13-5-2 against the Pacific, 2-3-0 when facing the Northeast, 5-1-0 over the Southeast, and 4-1-1 against Atlantic foes.
So that brings us to WIM's new featured poll - how many of the Central Divison teams do you see making it into the postseason this year? As much as I'd like to see all five, I'm going with four. I couldn't tell you if it'll be STL or NSH in that last spot because it's just too tight in the standings to make a for sure call just yet.