Blog Entry

Playoff Watch: Crucial points at stake for 'Hawks

Posted on: March 28, 2011 4:00 pm
Edited on: March 28, 2011 4:05 pm
WHO CAN CLINCH: The idle Vancouver Canucks can win the Western Conference if the Detroit Red Wings lose Monday in regulation to the Chicago Blackhawks.

ALREADY IN: Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Washington. 

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Chicago Blackhawks (40-26-8) at Detroit Red Wings (44-22-9), 7:30 p.m. ET (Versus)

The Blackhawks can't drop out of the top-8 in the West, although a loss could make the defending champ's shot at the playoffs a little more trying. Calgary is a point back and the Dallas is two points behind the the 'Hawks to start the night. 

Chicago coach Joel Quennville has toyed with shuffling the lines since his team's 2-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday. The Red Wings have been forced into making a change of their own. Joey MacDonald will start in net in place of Jimmy Howard, who is day to day with an injured shoulder. 

"The one thing you want to do is get a lot of shots and a lot of traffic," Quenneville told ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers. "We want to make sure he has a hard time fighting through the traffic." 

Chicago has won two of these teams' first three meetings. 

ALTERNATIVE VIEWING:  Colorado Avalanche (28-38-8) at Anaheim Ducks (42-28-5), 10 p.m. ET

This is the only other game of the night, but it could still play a role on how the West plays out. Like the 'Hawks, the Ducks aren't in danger of falling out of the top-8 tonight. But the Ducks could fall a spot with a loss combined with a Blackhawks win. 

The Ducks enter 3-0 against the Avs. 

GOLF WATCH: No new teams will be eliminated today. Ottawa, Florida, New York Islanders, Colorado and Edmonton have already mathematically out of it. 
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 8:37 pm
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