Sunday, April 10, 2011
Posted: 12:20 a.m.
By Chris Boden
With Saturday night's results, here's how the Blackhawks' playoff picture looks, depending on what happens on the final day of the regular season Sunday:
A regulation loss to Detroit, coupled with a Dallas regulation or overtime win in Minnesota, results in the Blackhawks being eliminated from the top eight in the West.
The only way the Blackhawks advance if they lose in regulation to Detroit is if Dallas gains only one point (with an overtime or shootout loss in Minnesota), or a shootout win, which gives the Hawks the tie-breaker, by virtue of one more regulationovertime win (38 to 37). Staying in the 8 spot means the Hawks would open versus Vancouver.
If the Blackhawks gain only one point with an overtime or shootout loss, they still clinch on points over Dallas, and would be the 7th seed - tied with Los Angeles with 98 points, but holding a regulation-overtime-win tie-breaker over the Kings. That means they would face San Jose in the first round. The Sharks clinched the second-seed with their win over Phoenix Saturday night.
By the end of Saturday night's action, Phoenix and Nashville remained at 99 points, with 38 regulationovertime victories apiece. Any Blackhawks win Sunday makes them a 5th-seed, facing 4th-seeded Anaheim. It gives them 99 points. If it's in regulation or overtime, they'll have 39. But they own tie-breakers against both, even if they beat the Red Wings in a shootout. They collected eight points to the Predators' six in head-to-head action this season. And while both the Hawks and Coyotes each earned five points against each other in that season series, the Hawks own the next tie-breaker, overall goal-differential.
Those are the scenarios resulting in the defending champs either being eliminated, or facing the Canucks, Sharks or Ducks.
Chris Boden is the host of Blackhawks Pre and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet.