The Chicago Blackhawks clinched the top record in the Western Conference for the 2016-17 season with the Minnesota Wild’s 3-0 loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday afternoon. The Hawks currently have 107 points and a 50-21-7 record with four games remaining in the regular season.
The Wild led the Central for most of the season, but stumbled down the stretch while the Blackhawks continued their strong play. Chicago pulled ahead a couple weeks ago for good, with Minnesota now sitting nine points behind with a 45-25-8 record. Now that each team only has four games left, the Wild have run out of time to come back.
Those are the two top teams in the conference this season, as the Anaheim Ducks currently lead the Pacific Division with 96 points via a 42-23-13 record. It’s been an underwhelming year for the projected top teams in the Pacific, with the Sharks going 2-8 over their past 10 games and the Kings set to miss the playoffs.
This is the 16th division title in franchise history for the Blackhawks, and the team’s first since the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. They’re also just two wins away from tying the 52 wins recorded in 2009-10, which is still the highest total during the Toews-Kane era.