Mar 9, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) heads into the Buffalo Sabres zone with the puck during the third period at First Niagara Center. Blackhawks beat the Sabres 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Blackhawks are only 18 games away from the Stanley Cup playoffs and they currently sit in 2nd place of the Central Division with only a 3 point lead over 3rd place Colorado Avalanche. So with little time left what is left for the Blackhawks to accomplish before the Hawks try to defend their Stanley Cup in the playoffs.
4. Secure Home Ice Advantage in the first round
The Blackhawks are a very good road team with one of the best road records in the NHL, but one thing you don’t want to do when the games really count is start off series on the road against a team that you struggled against in the regular season. The Avs have been a thorn in the side for the Blackhawks this season and will be a tough test in the first round no matter if the Hawks face them or another team. The Hawks want to start Game #1 of the playoffs at home in the United Center just like last season when Bryan Bickell scored the OT Winner against the Minnesota Wild and the Hawks were on their way in the first round last April.
3. PK Continues To Improve
The PK has made some tremendous strides since the opening night debacle that put the Blackhawks unit at the bottom of the NHL rankings from the very beginning. Losing Michael Frolik was a bigger loss than many thought it would be for the unit. The unit is now getting better including a spotless night last night, and after the effort against the Sabres the Hawks have cracked the teens in team rank for the first time since last year. The PK is more important than the powerplay come April when the playoffs begins so this unit heading in the right direction is right what the doctor ordered.