While the Chicago Blackhawks played the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, coach Joel Quenneville stayed in the locker room during the second period, watching the end of another game that would determine who would be their opponent in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. When he came back to the game, he knew that the Minnesota Wild had clinched the eighth seed.
We have the schedule now, so take a deep breath before reading. The Blackhawks will be facing the Wild on Tuesday, the first day of the playoffs. Since they’re the number one seed, they have home advantage, so the Wild will come to them at United Center for an 8 p.m. Eastern start. Game 2 will be played on Friday at 9:30 p.m.
The next two games will be held in St. Paul, with Game 3 played at 3 p.m. on May 5 and Game 4 played at 9:30 p.m. on May 7. It’s back to Chicago for Game 5 on May 9. If necessary, Game 6 will be held in Minnesota on May 11 and Game 7 will be in Chicago on May 12.
Games 1, 2 and 4 will be aired on NBC Sports Network, and Game 3 will be on NBC. The times and networks for the last three games are to be determined. For those in the Chicagoland area, Games 1, 2 and 4 will also be seen on Comcast Sports Network.
The reason for the staggered schedule is because of the Blackhawks’ roommates at United Center. The Chicago Bulls are in the NBA playoffs, and they could play on Thursday if they force a sixth game.