Playoff update: Hawks waste opportunity

Every morning between now and the end of the regular season I’ll update you on the playoff race as it pertains to the Blackhawks:

The Hawks did themselves a small favor by earning a point in Sunday’s 5-4 shootout loss to Minnesota, but considering the Wild’s woeful record and inept offense Chicago squandered an opportunity to take hold of the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference.

Instead, the Hawks caught the Nashville Predators in points, 98, but the Predators have played one fewer game, so they remain at No. 5 while the Hawks continue to be the No. 6 seed. Nashville has three games remaining while the Hawks have two.

The Detroit Red Wings took back the No. 4 seed with a shootout win over Florida on Sunday. They’re a point ahead of both Chicago and Nashville.

If the playoffs began today, the Hawks would take on the Los Angeles Kings who are tied with the Phoenix Coyotes for first in the Pacific Division. The Kings host Edmonton on Monday as the only game on the docket with Western Conference playoff implications.