With three more wins and six more points since last week's rankings, the Blackhawks (15-0-3) are now 11 points ahead of the St. Louis Blues, who have 22 points, for the lead in the Central Division. The Blackhawks also lead the Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators by 12 points and the Columbus Blue Jackets by 21 points.
The Central Division also continues to be one of the toughest in the NHL. Aside from the Northeast Division, which has four teams between 22-26 points, the Central is the league's deepest division. The Central have four teams in the top-15 in ESPN's rankings and would have four teams in the playoffs if the season ended today.
The Blackhawks do have plenty of division tests remaining. They are 5-0-0 in the Central and still have to face the Blues and Predators four more times each , the Red Wings three more times and the Blue Jackets twice more.