The Chicago Blackhawks (44-26-11, 99 pts) currently hold the No. 6 seed in the NHL's Western Conference playoff bracket, but they still have the opportunity to jump up to the No. 5 slot in their final game of the regular season against the Detroit Red Wings (48-28-5, 101 pts). The Hawks own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Red Wings, but they may actually want to lose in Saturday's game to avoid a first-round matchup against the Nashville Predators, who have given the Hawks fits with their neutral zone traps and grinding style.
If Chicago loses on Saturday, the Red Wings would get home ice against the Predators and the Blackhawks would take on the winner of the Pacific division, which will either be the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks or Phoenix Coyotes.
Here is a complete look at the Western Conference playoff standings heading into Friday's games:
|1||y - Vancouver Canucks||81||50||22||109|
|2||y - St. Louis Blues||80||48||21||107|
|3||x - Los Angeles Kings||81||40||27||94|
|4||x - Nashville Predators||81||47||26||102|
|5||x - Detroit Red Wings||81||48||28||101|
|6||x - Chicago Blackhawks||81||44||26||99|
|7||x - San Jose Sharks||81||42||29||94|
|8||x - Phoenix Coyotes||80||40||27||93|
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