Now what needs to happen? Looking at Calgary and Vancouver
The Blackhawks made the playoffs - awesome. But in the immortal words of The Wolf: "Lets not start sucking each other's dicks quite yet".
Making the playoffs is a great accomplishment and one that we're all euphoric about to be sure. But there's still 5 games left in the season and home ice is up for grabs. So here's a look a quick look at the schedules for the Hawks, Flames and Canucks.
Hawks - 5 Game Remaining
Home: Columbus (4/8), Detroit (4/12)
Away: Columbus (4/5), Nashville (4/7), Detroit (4/11)
Flames - 4 Games Remaining
Home: Los Angeles (4/6), Edmonton (4/11)
Away: Vancouver (4/7), Edmonton (4/10)
Canucks - 5 Games Remaining
Home: Colorado (4/5), Calgary (4/7) Los Angeles (4/9)
Away: Edmonton (4/4), Colorado (4/11)
Right now, the Hawks control their own destiny. If they win out - the Canadians can't catch them. But does anyone think they'll win all 5 remaining games? Didn't think so..
The biggest game is clearly the on Tuesday between the Canucks and Flames - we have to hope for a win in regulation. And really... that's about it.
The other teams the Canadian squads are playing are already breaking out the golf clubs, save the Oilers, who will be eliminated tonight if they lose and the Blues win. If not tonight, it's just a matter of time.
So what's the most likely scenario? It seems like the Canucks are going to be the Northwest champs. They're tied with Calgary now with a game in hand. They also have two games remaining against Colorado, who seem perfectly content to not win again this year. They've dropped 8 in a row and counting..
And, like most, I'm OK with that. Either team the Hawks get matched up with is going to result in a tough series, but the Hawks have had much better luck with the Flames this year and they seem to be struggling at a time when the Nucks are still playing pretty well. And who ever really wants to face Luongo in a playoff series?
If the Hawks play like they have the last two games they shouldn't have much trouble securing home ice but they can't let up.