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Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks: Last Chance Against Rangers

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 19: Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks looks to pass against the Winnipeg Jets at the United Center on January 19, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Jets 5-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 19: Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks looks to pass against the Winnipeg Jets at the United Center on January 19, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Jets 5-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Blackhawks are eight points out of the playoffs. With their first home game in five games, if they lose tonight, it’s time to write them off.

The Chicago Blackhawks are 26-25-8 with 60 points. They’re eight points out of the playoffs going into tonight’s matchup with the Rangers. The Rangers have been playing some good hockey this season. They’re in the same situation as the Blackhawks are in. They’re eight points out of the playoffs.

After a poor 1-4-0 road trip that meant so much, the Blackhawks have backed themselves against the walls. If they don’t start winning games in a row, they’ll make a good bid for a lottery pick in June; instead of a Stanley Cup.

What’s important about tonight’s matchup getting a win. If the Blackhawks lose tonight, it’s really over. These next few games are winnable and if they can get hot, they can put themselves back in the hunt. It starts with one win though. If they can’t get that one win tonight, things will be getting worse for Chicago.

What’s surprising to some is how the Blackhawks fell off after the loss to the Panthers in mid-January. It seems like the second the All-Star break started, the Blackhawks took a break from winning.

If they would have even won two more games since the break, they’d be just four points out. They had the lead in four of the five games on the road during this trip. If they could have closed off two of those games with a win, they’d be in great shape.

We can’t sit on “ifs”, because they’re just that, “ifs”.

On paper, the Blackhawks have a playoff roster. They’ve just failed to play a full 60 minutes as of late. With 23 games left, they’re going to need to win at least 16 of them. That would have them at 92 points.

90 points got the eighth seed in the western conference a playoff spot last year. It looks like that’ll be around the magic number this season. So, does a 16-7 finish seems do-able? Realistically it still does.

It’ll come down to is that enough. Maybe it’ll need to be more like 16-5-2, which gives them 94 points. Maybe they’ll need to win 17 of the 23 games and lose a couple in overtime. A 17-4-2 record seems unlikely. That would give them 96 points. I don’t think they’ll be able to go on a run like that.

It just shows how great of a chance this team had last week to do something great. With their backs against the wall, it’ll be an uphill battle from here. It all starts with one win. Will that happen tonight? Tune in at 7 CST to find out.

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