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NHL’s Central Division Might Be League’s Best

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Derick Brassard #16 of the Columbus Blue Jackets battles for the puck with Dan Cleary #11 of the Detroit Red Wings during game in Detroit.  (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Derick Brassard #16 of the Columbus Blue Jackets battles for the puck with Dan Cleary #11 of the Detroit Red Wings during game in Detroit. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

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By TERESA M. WALKER/AP Sports Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Detroit has the Western Conference standings posted in the dressing room right where none of the Red Wings can miss the nightly updates.

The way the Central Division teams are playing this season, it’s a tote board that changes daily and almost hourly. The standings bear close watching because the team that wins the division may very well wind up as the Western Conference’s top seed in the playoffs.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland says the Central might be the best in the NHL with four of the West’s top six teams and four of the league’s best 12.

Through Sunday’s games, Detroit sits atop the West with 76 points followed closely by St. Louis, Nashville and Chicago at Nos. 4, 5 and 6 separated by 11 points.

   (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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