I know it's confusing, but try to stay with me here. I'll try to make this Hawks / Stars / Ducks playoff chase as easy to understand as possible.
Before I tell you about the current standings, you need to know about the ROW column in the standings. It will be the tiebreaker when the season ends. ROW stands for Regulation / Overtime Wins. That means the total number of wins for a team EXCLUDING shootout wins. The NHL added this category this season to devalue a shootout win. It's a smart move, but it makes things much more confusing. STAY WITH ME!
The Anaheim Ducks currently hold the 7th seed with two remaining games (vs LA and @ LA). They have 95 points and 41 ROWS.
The Blackhawks currently hold the 8th seed with two games remaining (@ Detroit and vs Detroit). They have 95 points and 37 ROWs.
The Dallas Stars currently hold the 9th seed with two games remaining (@ Colorado and @ Minnesota). They have 93 points and 36 ROWs.
The team with the most points wins the playoff seed. STAY WITH ME!
With all that in mind, here's the simplest way to break it down:
The Blackhawks magic point number is 3. Any combination of Hawks points gained and Stars points lost equaling 3 will get the Hawks in the playoffs.
For example, if the Hawks win tonight in Detroit, and the Stars lose in overtime or a shootout...the Hawks would gain 2 points, and the Stars would lose 1. That makes 3. Hawks are in.
If the Hawks win tonight and the Stars lose tonight, that's 2 for the Hawks and 2 lost for the Stars. That makes 4. Hawks are in.
If the Stars should win out in regulation, the Hawks need three points (win and at least an overtime or shootout loss) from Detroit.
The Hawks MISS THE PLAYOFFS if the Stars win out in regulation / OT, and the Hawks only get two total points. The Stars 97 points beat the Hawks 97 points. Hawks are out.
If the Hawks and Stars tie in points AND ROW, the Stars win, because they hold the second tie breaker, which is head to head record. The Stars have gone 3-1 vs the Hawks this season.
The Hawks can also get in if they simply take more points than the Ducks this weekend. They both have 95 points, but the Hawks can't catch them in ROW.
Make sense? I hope so.
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