Predators in St Louis after Xmas break
The two top teams in the Central Division, the St. Louis Blues and the Nashville Predators, meet at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis for their first game since the Christmas break.
The Blues lead the Predators by a single point in the standings with the Winnipeg Jets a further point adrift although Nashville has played three games less than St. Louis and two fewer than the Jets.
Nearing the half way mark of the campaign, five teams in the Central Division have a positive goal differential, a stat usually associated with a realistic chance of making the post-season.
The Dallas Stars, who take on a disappointing Minnesota Wild on Wednesday are one of the two with the Chicago Blackhawks the other.
Chicago has the day off on Wednesday before playing the Canucks in Vancouver on Thursday.
Games against the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames follow in the traditional swing through the Northwest and the Blackhawks have the talent to make a run even as they trail the Blues by nine points in the standings.
Over in Winnipeg the Jets issue has been an inability to put together a good run of form.
Only once this season has Winnipeg won four in a row and even then they defeated the Arizona Coyotes in a home and home series to start that particular streak. The Jets are a coming side, there's no doubt of that, but this very much feels like a season of experience before they make a serious push next year.
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