Almost two months ago every hockey fan who wasn’t a Chicago Blackhawks fan was bellied up to their local tavern and grumbling, “Yeah well…it ain’t who starts fast, but who finishes fast in this league. They’ll come back down to earth sooner or later.”
So much for their bar stool analysis.
The Hawks are once again on fire and riding a nine game points streak which put them in position to wake up this morning having clinched the #1 seed by virtue of the Anaheim Ducks losing in overtime to the white hot Columbus Blue Jackets. The tie-breaking rules state that if two teams are tied at the end of the season, the number of wins excluding shootouts would be the deciding factor. As the Hawks have six more games in the win column than Anaheim which has only five games remaining, the Ducks have no way to catch them.
So thanks Columbus!
And now for your reward…
IF you can manage to stay hot on those dice for the remaining five games of the season, the Hawks would be honored to welcome you to the Windy City for the first round of the playoffs. I think they’d highly encourage you to pass the St. Louis Blues and grab the seventh seed so that you might knock the Ducks out for them, but if you prefer to finish eighth they’ll understand.
You see the Hawks are just as hot as you right now and have absolutely no fear of young Sergei Bobrovsky. Sure he’s won five in a row and has compiled a 1.54 GAA during the streak, however I’d like to remind Columbus fans his 2.03 overall GAA is still not close to either of the Hawks’ goalies (they’re both right at 1.91) and his four shutouts—while impressive—only ties him with starting goalie Corey Crawford in that category. Oh, and you’ve failed to beat them even once this year.
So now the Hawks will sit back and watch for the next two weeks while everybody scrambles for position beneath them. Their work is by no means done as they need to stay on task to hang onto the overall #1 seed, but thanks to a bit of advice from some oafish, chicken wing eating fellows earlier this season, it appears the hottest team in the Western Conference will be ready for whoever ends up in the 8th seed.