Every day between now and the end of the season I’ll update you on the Western Conference playoff race as it relates to the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks are going to have to make the playoffs the hard way.
With a chance to solidify a postseason spot and put some distance between themselves and the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds, they came up short in their 2-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday at the United Center.
The Ducks’ regulation victory vaulted them past Chicago into the No. 7 seed, while the Hawks stayed in the top eight, but by only a point. They were helped by a Dallas loss to Nashville which dropped the Stars to No. 10 while Calgary posted an improbable victory over Edmonton to take over the No. 9 seed. The Flames have played three more games than the Hawks.
The Hawks have 88 points, the Flames, 87, and the Stars, 86.
With their next three games on the road, including back-to-back contests in Detroit and Boston on Monday and Tuesday, the Hawks’ hold on a playoff spot is precarious, but they continue to control their own destiny.
Every team ahead of them and the one directly behind them has played more games, allowing the Hawks to earn some points in the final two weeks while those teams are idle.