With only 11 games remaining in the regular season, the Chicago Blackhawks find themselves with excellent odds this week, as they will face Predators Nashville in a three-game series against one of their biggest rivals for a Central Division playoff place.
The Blackhawks are currently trailing the Predators by just two points for that final spot, and they also have a game in hand for their opponents.
Here’s an update on the Central Division playoff picture heading home this season.
While the top three teams in the division are locked in a tight battle for top spot, the battle for fourth place involves three teams, including the Blackhawks.
Here is where things head into Monday’s action:
4 Nashville 49 points
5 Chicago 47 points
6 Dallas 46 points
The Blackhawks have a game in hand at the Predators, with Nashville only 10 games remaining in their season. The Stars have three games in hand in Nashville, with 13 games remaining.
The Blackhawks take on Nashville in the first of three straight matches on Monday, heading to the Bridgestone Arena for the last time this season.
After Monday’s game, the Blackhawks and Predators will then head to Chicago, with two more matches set for Wednesday and Friday nights.
The Blackhawks have two more games against Stars on May 9 and 10 to end the regular season.
As for Dallas, they will kick off a four-game tie against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday. They have one game left against the Predators, set for May 1, and then the final two against the Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks are less than happy to have faced the Predators so far this season, losing all five of their games against Nashville and gaining only two of a possible 10 points.
If the Blackhawks can win two out of three games, they are potentially the same as Nashville who are out of the draw, and still have a game in hand after the draw’s end on Friday.
Anything less than that will leave the Blackhawks a little tied up, as they still have a total of six games remaining against Tampa Bay, Florida and Carolina, the top three teams in the Central Division.
Heading into a stretch that calls for extra points will be an uphill task for the Blackhawks, who have been trying to find more consistent form in recent weeks.