Apr 6, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa (81) shoots on St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott (1) during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Blackhawks struggled to cap off the season with a strong push, and ended the season with two losses and a record of 46-21-15. They have 107 points which solidified the 5th seed in the Western Conference and 3rd in the Central Division. The Blackhawks will face the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the playoffs.
If the Blackhawks petered out towards the end, the St. Louis Blues stalled and fell back. They had the chance to earn 123 points on the season by winning their last 6 games, but instead lost all 6 to remain at 111 points and drop their record to 52-23-7. The Blues lost the Central Division crown and fell to second behind the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs jumped at the chance to take the Central Division title and earned a point in 4 of their last 5 games. They lead the Blues by one point at 112 with a record of 52-22-8. Colorado will face the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the playoffs.
The Minnesota Wild claim the first Wild Card seed in the Western Conference and 4th in the Central Division with 98 points. They ended the season just 9 points behind the Blackhawks with 98 and a record of 43-27-12. The Wild earned a point in 7 of their last 8 games with their only regulation loss coming against Nashville.
The Dallas Stars managed to fight their way in to the second Wild Card seed in the Western Conference after pushing out the Phoenix Coyotes. The Stars trumped the Yotes by2 points and a record of 40-31-11. Their trump came more as a result of the Coyotes’ plummet rather than a strong push through the last few games from the Stars, but Blackhawks fans will take it any way we can. The Stars will face the Anaheim Ducks in the first round of the playoffs.
The Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets are the final two Central Division teams that are not heading to playoffs. The Predators are 3 points out of a Wild Card seed with 88 points and a 38-32-12 record. The Jets are 7 points out with a final record of 37-35-10 and 84 points. They also lead the Vancouver Canucks by one point, so they are still winners in the minds of Blackhawks fans.
Interesting Notes: Of the 5 Central Division teams going to the playoffs, all of them ended on a losing note. The two that didn’t make it ended on a winning streak.