Coming out of the Olympic break the Chicago Blackhawks have played 60 games and find themselves in third place in the Western conference. They trail the Anaheim Ducks by 3 points and are tied with the St. Blues. However the Blues have played in 3 less games so therefore technically hold the tie-breaker because of that.
Since they have played 60 games already that leaves the Hawks to play 22 games over the rest of the season. That will be 22 games in 45 days. How the schedule breaks down is kind of interesting.
- Half the games are at home and half the games are on the road.
- There are only 4 sets of back to back games, with all of them coming after March 18.
- 9 of the 22 games will be against their own division. Nashville (3), Blues & Avs (2), Wild & Stars (1)
- 7 of those 9 games are at home, playing Avs and Predators on the road
- 13 of the 22 games is against the Eastern Conference.Penguins & Blue Jackets (2), Rangers, Canadians, Capitals, Flyers, Hurricanes, Senators, Bruins, Sabres and Red Wings
- 8 of those 13 games are on the road. Canes, Wings and Jackets will travel to the UC while Penguins will play at Soldier Field.
- 21 out of 22 games will be against team that are currently in playoff contention. Buffalo is the only team not within 4 points of the final playoff spot within their respective conferences.
So what does all that mean? It means a lot of early starts. Only one games will have a start time later than 7 PM Central time. It also means that with 2 games against the Blues with both in Chicago the Hawks have plenty of time to retake the division lead from St. Louis. Also it isn't going to be easy. There are several potential Stanley Cup finals preview.
Over the first 60 games the Hawks won 35 games which is about 58 percent of the games. If they kept up that winning percentage that would be good enough for 13 wins or 26 points, which would give them 110 points. Possibly more when you consider the amount of times the Hawks go into overtime and earn a point.Based on the past years that will be good enough for one of the top two seeds in the West.
However if they only were to win 10 games then they would be closer to 100 points and could end up as a lower seed that does not have home ice come playoff time. With all that being said, it should be one hell of a stretch run here filled with plenty of scoreboard watching to see how the Ducks and Blues as well as the Penguins do night in and night out.