Every day between now and Saturday I'll update you on the playoff race as it relates to the Chicago Blackhawks.
After Tuesday's action in the Western Conference there is a clearer picture of who will qualify for the playoffs. The San Jose Sharks' win over Dallas has separated them from the Stars by three points for the No. 8 seed while Phoenix earned a third consecutive shutout, 2-0 over Columbus, to lead the No. 9 seed by four points. Both those teams also closed the gap on the Pacific Division leading Los Angeles Kings. The Kings have the No. 3 seed thanks to a tiebreaker with Phoenix while the Sharks are one point behind them both.
If the playoffs started today the No. 6-seeded Hawks would face the Kings in the first round, a team they lost three of four from this season. They were shutout twice by Los Angeles as well.
Nashville's 2-1 shootout win over Minnesota on Tuesday vaulted them over Detroit for the No. 4 seed. They lead the Hawks by two points, the Wings are ahead of Chicago by one.
Wednesday's action in the NHL includes a match-up in St. Louis between the Red Wings and Blues. Detroit has played one fewer game than the Hawks and Predators.