The Chicago Blackhawks are currently in the No. 3 spot in the NHL‘s Western Conference. They are behind the Anaheim Ducks and the St. Louis Blues. I’m not sure if they are terribly concerned with their position in the conference as they march towards the playoffs.
With 17 games to play, the Blackhawks are more concerned with playing good hockey as they end the regular season. They are currently 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. This sounds good, but some of the other teams in the conference are playing just as good, if not better. Teams like the Blues, Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks are all 7-2-1 in their last 10 games.
As we’ve learned from years past, sometimes it doesn’t matter where you finish as long as you get into the playoffs. The Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup two years ago as a No. 8 seed behind the play of goalie Jonathan Quick. Last year, the Blackhawks won the Cup as the No. 1 seed behind the play of Corey Crawford.
The Ducks are struggling right now, and this is a good chance for Chicago to move up in the standings. However, they have put themselves in a good position even if they don’t move up. What they need to concern themselves with is giving themselves the best chance to repeat as champions.
A 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday was a good place to start this stretch. Chicago needs to beat teams like Buffalo when they play them. If they continue to play like this for the next 17 games, they will put themselves in an excellent position to hoist the Cup once again this June.