The Blackhawks' task is clear: win both the games against the Detroit Red Wings this weekend and they're in the playoffs. Sure, that's likely going to be the No. 8 seed against the Vancouver Canucks, a team bound for revenge after the Hawks bounced them from the playoffs last year. But the Canucks have the best record in the league. Last year's top team, the Capitals, got rudely eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. So you never know.
If the Blackhawks win only one of these two, or lose both, though, they'll have to have help from non-playoff teams defeating the Dallas Stars this weekend.
The Hawks got Patrick Sharp back for their game on Wednesday, before they expected him to be available, and now there's more good news about the injured Dave Bolland:
"Bolland is progressing at a different pace than he was before which is encouraging," Quenneville said following the Hawks' morning skate at Joe Louis Arena. "In fact, he could be on the ice (Friday). I'm not sure if he's on (Friday) or not but he could be."
As for Troy Brouwer, who injured his shoulder against the Canadiens on Tuesday, Quenneville said the winger "is still day-to-day but we like his progress."
It'll be a wild weekend. Tonight's festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. CDT and it'll be televised on CSN Chicago.