This is SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NHL. Each week, SB Nation sends out questions to the most plugged in Blackhawks fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.
The NHL has returned and while it’s not technically the playoffs, the qualifying round definitely feels like postseason hockey. Which means upset-watch is in full force.
Fans were asked in the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey who they think is most likely to pull off the upset in the qualifying round. Despite being the last Western Conference team included in the bubble, the Blackhawks received the most votes to pull off an upset in their best-of-five series against the Oilers.
The Blackhawks and Oilers have traded wins through the first three games, with Edmonton’s top-ranked power play scoring at least one goal in each game. After scoring three power-play goals in Game 1, Chicago’s power play has struggled going 1-for-10 the next two games with the lone goal in that stretch coming off a weird bounce off Jonathan Toews’ skate during a five-on-three situation in Game 3.
Chicago can advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2017 with a win against the Oilers in Game 4, which starts at 5:45 p.m. Friday.
Fans were also asked who they expect to emerge on top from the seeding games for the top four teams in each conference.
Nearly 40 percent of fans think the Lightning will be the top seed in the Eastern Conference, followed by the Flyers, Capitals and Bruins. The vote was clearer in the West where more than 60 percent of fans think the Avalanche will be on top. They are trailed by the Golden Knights, Blues and Stars.
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