Tonight, for the final Home game of the 2012-13 Regular Season, the Blackhawks host the Calgary Fla.. oh, fuck it.

The Flames are dead and buried, the Hawks are home and hosed, there is nothing to care about and we don’t even get to gaze adoringly at Iggy and heave deep, heartfelt, sighs. Ryan Stanton is up , the rest of the Black Aces will get the call tomorrow. And St Louis, of course.  There’s always them.

So, rather than make (redundant) jokes about Jay Feaster, I thought I’d take a quick look at the final days of the Season for the three teams fighting it out for the last two Playoff places in the West. Or, as I call it




There are many, many different permutations and combinations that could see some of these teams either finish as high as 6th or hit the golf course early.  It’s exactly the sort of Bowel-Loosening situation that I, for one, am glad the Hawks avoided entirely this year.  I still flinch when I think back to two years ago.  I won’t try to elucidate every potential outcome, just a few of the more intriguing possibilities. One of these bunches of schmucks are going to be the Hawks’ first-round opponent, after all.

Minnesota Wild (8th, 46GP 53P

The Wild hold the whip-hand in that Qualification is totally under their own control. They can max out at 57 points by winning their two remaining games against Edmonton tonight and Colorado on Saturday. This would ensure them of at least 7th; and possibly even 6th if San Jose lose to the Kings. Should be a straightforward assignment, even without the injured Pominville, right? Then again, word is just filtering out that Khabbi is getting the start tonight for ver Oil so this could go one of two ways: Wipeout or Shutout. We all know that the Hockey Gods liked pulling the wings off flies when they were young, so I’m betting on the Bulin Wall putting in an appearance. (note: not, in fact, betting and if you ever see me attempting to wager real money on Edmonton winning, feel free to have me committed)

This would lead to nervous times in Hockey County, or whatever it’s called.

Potential 1st Round Opponents? The Hawks have been up and down against the Wild this year, usually doing just about enough to get by. It’ll also be interesting to see how the Wild’s promising rookies do in their first taste of an NHL Post-Season.  I’d be cheerful enough about it.


Columbus Blue Jackets (9th, 47GP, 53P)

The Cinderellas of the Regular Season are facing Midnight, as two more points for Minnesota will eliminate them. They need  Minnesota to drop three points out of four and/or Detroit to lose in Dallas Saturday.  If there’s a small gleam of hope it’s in that, of the three, they are the only ones at home on the final day. And it’s Nashville. That’s about it, though. I fear that the Grim Reaper may be reaching for the flush.  Right?

Potential 1st Round Opponents? Let’s see.. team that has never won a Playoff series with an unexpectedly Hot Goalie and Adrian Aucoin. Why does this sound… familiar? No Thanks


Detroit Red Wings (7th, 47GP, 54P)

Who’d have thunk it? Even while the Wings were going though their struggles this year, I’m sure none of us expected them to still be unsure of a place in the Promised Land going into their final game. The 21 year streak is looking decidedly wobbly. That said, of all these three, I am the most confident that Detroit will beat a Dallas team with nothing to play for and consolidate their berth. Then watch Minnesota pass them for 7th. And we all know what that means, don’t we?

Potential 1st Round Opponents? Forget about the rest, folks. It’s Meant-To-Be. Hawks-Wings Playoff series.. I know it’ll hurt, but be honest, is there any better way to wrap up the Conference rivalry than this? You know it makes sense. Hossa Help Us All.


Anyway, that’s all likely to make for some schadenfreude-based chuckles over the weekend. Someone’s going to weeping into their Lutefisk/Bud Light/Meth while we laugh and point.

Enjoy tonight, especially all those going to the game.. next time we’ll be back at the UC, the stakes will be infinitely higher.

Let’s Go, Hawks!