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Monday, April 9, 2012
Power Rankings: Hawks finish in Top 10

By Jesse Rogers

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks final position, No. 10, in ESPN.com’s weekly Power Rankings underlies the uncertainty of their playoff hopes. There are plenty of powerhouse teams more deserving of Stanley Cup backing, but it also means the Hawks are not out of the hunt.

Their regular season statistics don’t point to them as a Cup favorite and that’s probably why there are nine playoff teams ahead of them. On top of it the six teams behind them would be hard pressed to win the Cup so are the Hawks part of that group or the nine ahead of them in the rankings?

With special teams and possibly goaltending as question marks -- at least based on the regular season -- the Hawks have to be considered an underdog to get out of the West. And though they didn’t exactly stumble down the stretch, they did have a chance to get out from the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference and couldn’t pull it off, losing in a shootout to Minnesota and blowing a 2-0 third period lead to Detroit last week.

Their ranking is a tough pill to swallow for a team with over 100 points, and plays in arguably the toughest division in hockey. But until they can show improvement in the key playoff areas of the game then they’re an underdog until further notice.