The Chicago Blackhawks are the only Western Conference team that has clinched a playoff spot as the regular season nears its close. That means it’s high time to look at who the Blackhawks may be facing this postseason.
There are only nine games left in the regular season for the Chicago Blackhawks, who contest one of those tonight against the Dallas Stars and the United Center. The Blackhawks reached an even 100 points with an overtime loss to Vancouver on Tuesday, but had already wrapped up a playoff spot with Sunday’s win over Colorado.
Four days later, the Blackhawks are still the only Western Conference team holding a playoff position. They were beaten to the punch in the Eastern Conference by the Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets, and all three have since been joined by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Though we’re getting close to having the West’s eight playoff teams determined, their postseason positioning is far from clear. The Los Angeles Kings are eight points out of the second wild card and don’t seem all that interested in grabbing it, having lost their last two games.
So, assuming the Kings don’t kick it into high gear and another team doesn’t lose pretty much every game left on its schedule, here’s the eight West teams that will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs: Chicago, Minnesota, St. Louis, San Jose, Anaheim, Edmonton, Calgary and Nashville.
But which teams will square off against one another, and at which points during the playoffs? I’m here today to project the Blackhawks’ road through the Western Conference.