Will the Hawks make the playoffs?

Ben Kasbeer, Contributor

It’s pretty incredible that the words “Blackhawks” and “making the playoffs” are in the same sentence, but here we are. The Blackhawks are four points out of a playoff spot with a 32-30-10 (Wins-Losses-Overtime Losses) record on the season. 

In November 2018, the Blackhawks owned the last place in the NHL. This can somewhat be pinned on a weak defense and acclimating to a new coach after Joel Quenneville was let go on Tuesday, Nov. 4 2018. But with 10 games left in the season, making excuses won’t get this team into the playoffs. With their overtime loss to the Canucks, the hawks would, most likely, have to win seven of the next 10 or better if they want to make the playoffs. The Western Conference is the tightest it has been in the past couple of years. 

There are four teams within five points of each other all fighting for the last wild card spot in the West. 

If you include the two wild card teams, then it only spans eight points, so there is a lot that is out of the Blackhawks’ control even if they do win seven of the last 10 games. They need the other Western Conference teams to keep losing, and the Blackhawks need to stay hot and finish strong. Each game from now until the end of the season for the Blackhawks is essentially a playoff game in itself if they want to make the playoffs. 

Another aspect that will add to the intensity of these last 10 games is that four of them are against the same teams fighting for a wild card spot or ones that already have a wild card spot. 

The Blackhawks are currently at 74 points on the season, and they will play Colorado in back-to-back games. Colorado also happens to have 74 points, so the Blackhawks need to win those games along with the games against Arizona, the first wild card spot, and Dallas, the second wild card spot, or else the teams above them in the standings will stay above, and they won’t have a chance at a playoff spot. The probability is unlikely for the Blackhawks to make the playoffs, but with 10 games left in their season, a lot can happen if they keep winning. At the same time though, each loss is points the Blackhawks miss out on in an extremely tight playoff race that they happen to already be behind in.