The dust has settled in the Western Conference playoff race and the Hawks can solidify the seedings with a win this afternoon at the United Center.
Unrealistic 24 hours ago, the stars have aligned for a Blackhawks-Ducks first round matchup. Anaheim, San Jose and St. Louis winning on Saturday led to some flip-flopping in the standings and here's the scenario we are left with:
-If the Blackhawks win today (regulation or OT irrelevant), they finish 5th and play Anaheim in the first round.
-If the Blackhawks lose in overtime or a shootout, they finish 7th and play San Jose in the first round.
-If the Hawks lose in regulation, they pray for help from Minnesota and, if they get it, finish 8th and travel to Vancouver for Game 1.
The Hawks couldn't ask for a better opportunity. The Ducks are a team to be reckoned with, especially with Corey Perry skating like he's got problems at home, but a solid series out of Keith/Seabrook wins that matchup. They don't have the skill of Vancouver/San Jose or the mental edge Detroit has. It's as good of a matchup we could ask for.
Hopefully, you'll have a reason to come back tonight to find a playoff schedule.
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