Losses to the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings sandwiched between a win over the New York Rangers sealed the Hawks' fate as they continue to show the inconsistency which has been a trait this season. Slow starts have doomed them lately even if they’ve pulled a few wins out late in games.
The Hawks belong just below the elite teams in the NHL and certainly haven’t played as consistent as the other top Central Division squads. St. Louis, Nashville and Detroit rank 2, 4 and 5, respectively in the rankings and would be slight (Nashville) to heavy (Detroit) favorites in any playoff series against Chicago.
The question is who would be the favorite if the Hawks faced the Dallas Stars as is currently situated in the standings. The teams have similar point totals, but the Stars would have home-ice advantage and are on a hot streak right now. But the Hawks have the playoff experience.
Dallas ranks No. 9 this week but odds are they would be the underdog in a postseason matchup. The Stars shouldn’t be a worry for Chicago, but in a season of inconsistencies no team would be a given for the Hawks come playoffs.