Chicago Blackhawks Morning Links: Shutting Down St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 4: Brandon Saad
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 4: Brandon Saad /

The Chicago Blackhawks cannot end the St. Louis Blues’ playoff hopes tonight, but they sure can make things tougher on their rivals

By virtue of the Colorado Avalanche losing to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, the Chicago Blackhawks cannot eliminate the St. Louis Blues from postseason contention tonight.

Yes, this is sad news to Blackhawks fans, who have been watching a team playing for nothing more than getting youngsters ready for 2018-19. But it’s not as if the Blackhawks are unable to really mess with the Blues tonight at the United Center.

Blues fans were worked into a lather on social media Wednesday when the Blackhawks surprisingly overcame a two-goal deficit to win 4-3. If the Avs had picked up two points Thursday, things would’ve gotten quite dicey for the Blues concerning a playoff bid.

The Avs would’ve had 95 points with a win, while the Blues would be at 92. St. Louis would have a game in hand … with that event coming against Colorado on Saturday. So that would’ve made tonight’s game against the Blackhawks a must-win for the Blues.

Now, they can technically afford to lose. They shouldn’t be trying to, of course (unless they want to give Vladimir Tarasenko further reason to consider getting out of Missouri as soon as possible). But considering how poorly things ended for St. Louis on Wednesday, as well as its players’ and coach’s reaction to that loss …

… it’s pretty clear the Blues are not in a great frame of mind for tonight’s game. And matters are only more confusing with Thursday night’s news that goaltender Ville Husso had been recalled from the Blues’ AHL affiliate. What are the Blackhawks going to see in net tonight?

Whatever situation presents itself, the Blackhawks still have the opportunity to mess with the Blues’ postseason plans once more. That’s something worth playing for, as the Blackhawks have expressed in the press this week.

Next: Quenneville, Bowman Will Return In 2018-19

Chicago Blackhawks morning links

— An emergency podcast for a hot topic. Chicago Sun-Times

— And the actual story on Coach Q and Stan Bowman returning. Chicago Sun-Times

— Chris Kuc is back on the beat. The Athletic

— This guy wasn’t getting fired, either. The Athletic

— A stunning finish to a great Frozen Four game. Detroit Free Press

— And some background on the other national title contender. New York Times