Playoff update: Clinching scenarios

March, 30, 2012
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
Everyday between now and the end of the regular season I’ll update you on the playoff race as it pertains to the Chicago Blackhawks:

Thursday’s 4-3 shootout win over the St. Louis Blues put the Hawks on the cusp of a playoff berth while closing the gap on the No. 5 seed Nashville Predators and No. 4 seed Detroit Red Wings.

The Hawks remain the No. 6 seed and if the Los Angeles Kings lose on Friday night to the Edmonton Oilers, the Hawks will clinch a spot in the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year. If the Kings win on Friday the Hawks can still clinch a spot on Saturday by earning at least a point in their game against Nashville. There are other scenarios this weekend that clinch a playoff berth even if the Hawks lose on Saturday.

The Predators and Red Wings face off in Detroit on Friday, assuring both teams cannot earn two points.

The worst-case scenario would be an overtime game, giving points to both teams. The Wings have 97 points, the Predators, 96, and the Hawks 95. But the former two teams have a game in hand.

Blowing a 3-1 lead to the Blues but still winning in a shootout on Thursday actually has one negative for the Hawks. The win won’t count when it comes to tiebreaker scenarios. If two teams are tied in points, non-shootout wins is the first tie-breaker. The Hawks have 37, the Wings 39, and the Predators 40. The Hawks could have closed the gap on the first tie-breaker but instead won in the shootout.

Though it changes on a daily basis if the postseason began today, the Hawks would face the No. 3 seed Dallas Stars in the first round of the playoffs.

Jesse Rogers | email

Chicago Cubs beat reporter
Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for and ESPN Radio 1000.



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