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Behind Enemy Lines: A look at the Canucks schedule

We all know the Hawks are playing some pretty mediocre (at best) hockey lately.  If you believe the doomsday scenarios, the Hawks will not only lose home-ice for the first round of the playoffs to the Canucks but could miss out entirely on the post-season.

As Sam said earlier today, we're all being very un-dude but lets also not think the Hawks have a sure thing.  Take a look at the schedule for the Canucks for the rest of the season:


Canucks Record Against:

Stars: 33-28-8


Blues:  32-29-8


@Coyotes:  28-35-6


@Stars:  33-28-8


@Blues:  32-29-8


@Avalanche:  31-38-1


@Blackhawks:  37-21-9


@Wild:  32-29-8


Ducks:  32-31-6


@Oilers:  32-27-9


Avalanche:  31-38-1


Flames:  40-23-6


Kings:  29-29-6


@Avalanche:  31-38-1


Here's some of the bad news, the 'Nucks are playing a lot of the bottom feeders for the rest of the year.  Of the 10 teams they're playing - almost half of them will not  make the playoffs (Anaheim, LA, Coloradox3 and Phoenix) barring some outstanding play and even better luck down the stretch. 

Only two teams, St. Louis and Minnesota, are "on the bubble".  Of the two, I'd be much more worried about the Blues as they are only one point out but have played one more game than 8th place Oilers.  They're also a bunch of crazy bastards who won't give up until they're mathematically out - just check out their fans.  They play the Blues twice too so hopefully those two squads just beat the hell out of each other and are too exhausted to do much else.

So Vancouver really is only playing 4 teams that are in pretty good shape for the playoffs (Dallasx2, Hawks, Edmonton and Calgary).  The game against the Hawks is shaping up to be a big one, as if it wasn't going to be already following the spanking the 'Nucks laid on the Hawks in the last game.

The 'Nucks are also 22-12-10 against the teams they're about to face though those stats are boosted by their records against the Wild, Oilers and Flames, teams they'll only place once.  Their 0-1-1 and 1-0-2 records against the Stars and Avs, teams they'll play multiple times, could even things out.

The biggest thing the Hawks have going in their favor is the 6-game road trip Vancouver is about to head out on.  Vancouver has a 16-12-5 record on the road this year so they're not exactly a team that will wilt on the road but they'll still be playing 6 games in 11 days and travel approx.4,726 miles. (h/t to The Forechecker for that mileage).

Add that in with the fact that Vancouver will be coming to Chicago as their 5th stop on the road trip and it should give the Hawks a bit of an edge... not that they've really taken advantage of those lately though. 

Pretending the teams didn't play each other, even if the Hawks go 6-6-2.  That will leave them with 14 more points and 97 total.  The Canucks would have to win at least 16 points out of 23 total to reach that level.  That's not unheard of but the Canucks have been hot since early February (only 4 loses since the start of Feb) and one would think they'd start to even out eventually.  Then factor in the game the squads play against each other and things get even more hectic.

As Sam has said in an earlier post - if the Canucks really do end up catching and passing the Hawks... well then they deserve it.  And we'll still see them in the first round. 

The final stretch for both teams is going to be rough but it should put some excitement into the games and hopefully the Hawks locker room.  If you want to follow along closely with Vancouver you should check out 'Nucks Misconduct, our Vancouver blog on SBN. 

We'll take a look at the rest of the Hawks schedule after this road trip when we should have a better idea of how much trouble we're in.