Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks Roundtable: Wild-Card Teams And ‘D’ Pairings

By Colin Likas
Feb 11, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; St-Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko (91) plays the puck during the third period of the game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 11, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; St-Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko (91) plays the puck during the third period of the game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago Blackhawks are on a roll, but they won’t be playing again until Thursday, so let’s take a look at some potential playoff competition

We can’t be totally sure who the Chicago Blackhawks will face in the first round of this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. It would seem they’re getting closer and closer to locked in at the Central Division’s No. 2 spot, but recent success means Chicago could take the division as well.

As such, it’s also important we look at potential Western Conference wild card teams. Even if we’re not looking at things from a Blackhawks standpoint, it’s also interesting to try and determine which two clubs will grab those coveted extra playoff spots.

So on this week’s Chicago Blackhawks roundtable, we’ve asked our experts which two teams they think will snatch up the wild card spots. Here are this week’s two official questions:

Question 1: Which two teams do you think will take the Western Conference’s wild card spots and why?

Question 2: Who do you see making up the Blackhawks’ third defensive pairing once Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya return and why?

It’s important to note we’re assuming Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook will continue to make up another defensive pairing once the two Swedes are back in the lineup. It seems like that’s what coach Joel Quenneville is aiming for, anyway.

With that, let’s see what some of our Blackhawk Up writers had to say this week.

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