The Blackhawks and Avalanche appear destined to meet in the first-round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but where that first game would be played has yet to be decided.
The two teams are still battling for home-ice advantage in the series. But if the Hawks don't get it, is that necessarily a bad thing?
NHL Network analyst E.J. Hradek joined SportsTalk Live on Monday and suggested that home-ice advantage for the Avs might be exactly the opposite: a home-ice disadvantage. And it could be a good thing for the Blackhawks.
"It might be better for the Blackhawks to open on the road as a veteran team in Denver, Hradek told CSN's David Kaplan. "If the Avalanche were to come to Chicago, play those first two games, they're playing the defending champions, they're coming in there a decided underdog despite the season they've had. They steal one of those games in Chicago, all of a sudden, things are looking good as they go home. This way, by opening up at home, the pressure is on them to hold serve on home ice. But it was two blowouts, one for each side, and three really close games Colorado won. I think it would almost be a benefit for a veteran group like Chicago to start in Denver, put the pressure on the Avs from the start. If Chicago gets one of those two games, they're in position to go home and really take advantage of the home ice in that circumstance."
Catch more of Hradek's thoughts on the Blackhawks' playoff prospects in the video above.