The Lonesome Crowded West

It’s a very tense time to be a Hawks fan right now. That seems strange, because they are tied for 3rd in the league in points with 90. They’re 6-3-1 in their last ten games, and lead the league in goals scored. So why does it feel like every game is so important? Because the West is a very dangerous place to be, and it’s crowded at the top.

The Battle for the Divisions

Yes, I took the title of this post from an album from one of my favorite bands, Modest Mouse. Great album. It’s been too long since they came out with a new one, but that’s neither here nor there.

Modest_Mouse-The_Lonesome_Crowded_West-Frontal

The point is that the top of the Western Conference is extremely crowded.

Central

St Louis – 94 points. Chicago – 90 points. Colorado – 89 points.

Pacific

Anaheim – 93 points. San Jose – 89 points. Los Angeles – 82 points.

Wild Card

Minnesota – 76 points. Dallas – 72 points.

Then a handful of teams still have a prayer for the last wild card spot, including Phoenix (71), Winnipeg (68), and Vancouver (68). Although, Vancouver is doing all they can to fail, winning only 2 of their last 10 and blowing a 3-0 lead in the third period to the Islanders. Not just blowing the lead, but giving up SEVEN goals in the third. That’s tough to do. I’d be willing to bet my new Niche Mustang Wheels that we won’t be seeing the Canucks in the playoffs, but there is still a small chance.

Anyway, back to the top. If the Blackhawks can win the division, they’ll could play a team with roughly 20 points fewer than them. Even 15 would be a big difference. If they DON’T win the division, they could play someone with the same amount of points or even more.

Now of course, there’s more to the match up than points. But who would you rather play against right now, Minnesota or LA? LA has won 8 in a row, by the way.

Dates to Circle

The Blackhawks have a few giant games coming up:

March 12 – At Colorado. Colorado could pass them in the standings if they win. Uh oh.

March 19 – Vs St. Louis. Huge divisional points on the line.

March 30 – At Pittsburgh. I bet the Hawks come in there thinking since they stomped the Penguins at Soldier Field then they have an easy game to end their East Coast trip. I predict they come out slow and the Penguins get their revenge

April 6 – Vs St. Louis. It will be interesting to see how things are shaping up in the standings at this time.

April 12 – At Nashville. Last game of the season. Things might already be set in stone, but if not, get ready for a good one. Nashville should be out of the race, but teams like that love to play spoiler and will give their home crowd a strong fight.

Looking forward to seeing how this all plays out. I’ll be biting my nails and sitting on the edge of my couch for the rest of the season.

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    Scott Huntington

    Scott Huntington is a hockey writer who grew up outside of Chicago and constantly watches the Blackhawks.

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