The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

NHL Season Preview: Central



This is an absolutely loaded division that had every team last year earning 90 points or more for the season. The defending Stanley Cup champions, the Chicago Blackhawks look to retain their crown despite losing a few key players from the team. The St. Louis Blues are turning into a real powerhouse of a team recently, they just need to execute in the playoffs. The Nashville Predators will be great if they can simply find a consistent scoring threat, and a better offense. The Minnesota Wild has the ideal team; a quality defense, good goaltending, and a dangerous offense, but the haven’t been able to put it all together and get over the hump that is Chicago. The Winnipeg Jets might just play in the loudest home-ice building in hockey, and are showing great improvement from the team that was stuck in Atlanta before realignment. The Dallas Stars are led by young gunslingers in Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, and can score a TON of goals. The Colorado Avalanche was a huge disappointment last year. They have the young pieces, but maturity is an issue. The team goes as far as Nathan Mackinnon will carry them. But, on the bright side for viewers, their coach, Patrick Roy, is an absolute riot to watch on the bench.


  1. St. Louis Blues

They cannot finish…in the playoffs. They have a great that disappears when push-comes-to-shove. What will help them get over the playoff failures is deciding who is the #1 in net. Jake Allen and Brian Elliot are both competing for the job, and if one of them wins it early and controls it, then this team will be much improved come playoff time.


  1. Minnesota Wild

Not much to analyze with this team. As stated before, they’ve got all the qualities to be a Stanley Cup winning team; they just need to find a way to do it. Ryan Suter, Zach Parise, Thomas Vanek and Devan Dubnyk need to play up to expectations for the team. If they can finally find a way to beat Chicago, then they have a shot at winning the cup.


  1. Nashville Predators

When you have a top-end defenseman, and a solid goaltender on your team, you have a shot at making a deep run into the playoffs. That HAS to be the mindset of Nashville: Make it past round 1, or the season’s a bust. Seth Jones is going to be a MONSTER in a few years, and Filip Forsburg gives them a future on offense. This team is simply loaded with potential, and could finish top of not only the division, but of the conference.


  1. Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago is always winning. Patrick Kane and Captain Jonathan Toews are the ultimate winners, and undisputed leaders on the team. What could have a significant impact on this team is if Kane gets suspended for an ongoing rape controversy in Buffalo, which got him removed from the cover of EA NHL 16. They lost some talent off of last year’s cup winning team; including Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad but they are attempting to replace them with young prospects and international players from Russia’s KHL. The bottom line is that they will be in the playoffs again, and have a shot at winning due to their experience (Maybe start talking about a “Dynasty” with this team).


  1. Dallas Stars

They score a lot, and give up a lot. So what they did in the offseason was simple: improve their defense. They accomplished that by acquiring a defensive forward in Patrick Sharp, while adding defenders Stephen Jones and Johnny Oduya. Tyler Seguin is a young stud (literally, Boston girls love him still), and Jamie Benn is emerging as a very dangerous weapon. It is pretty simple for the Stars: The offense will be fine, and if the defense steps up; they will be in the playoffs.


  1. Winnipeg Jets

The Jets have arguably the loudest building in the NHL, but that meant nothing in the playoffs last year as Anaheim swept them. Dustin Byfuglien holds this team together on defense, and offense. He’s their best player and is an unrestricted free agent after this season. Winnipeg NEEDS to lock him up in a deal before they lose him in free agency. Andrew Ladd is a typical captain, well-spoken, tough and gritty. Ondrej Pavelec has to improve his goaltending and make it more consistent throughout the entire season. It will be an absolute grind for this team to make the playoffs again. They have potential, but they might ultimately fall short.


  1. Colorado Avalanche

Colorado took a real step back last season. The offense disappeared, and the defense made some horrendous mistakes that cost them dearly. Yet, they eclipsed to 90-point mark. Nathan Mackinnon is only 20 years old, yet he’s been in the NHL for an impressive 3 years. The Avs got their #1 goaltender, Semyon Varlamov back, so that helps. Even if this team does not make the playoffs, they could make life miserable for those who are in contention.


Photo courtesy of Nicole Yeary on Flickr :

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Greyhound Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
NHL Season Preview: Central