Now as spoilers, Blackhawks can wreck the rival Blues’ playoff hopes this week
CHICAGO – Outside of a few individual performances, there won’t be much for the Blackhawks to remember about the beginning and the middle of their 2017-2018 season.
But they can make the end memorable taking on their new role: Spoilers.
Without a playoff appearance ahead, the Blackhawks season ends with three games this week, two coming against the rival Blues, the first of which is Wednesday night at the Scottrade Center. Here’s where Joel Quenneville’s team can make an impact.
Currently the Blues sit a point behind the Dallas Stars for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference with three games to play. If the Blackhawks can knock them off on Wednesday, Friday at the United Center, or both, they can deal a significant blow to their rival’s playoff chances.
That’s certainly something the fans would like the see, considering the rebirth of the rivalry over the past five years with the Blackhawks’ resurgence and St. Louis’ return to prominence as well.
“Whether both teams we saw here, whether that was Colorado or St. Louis, we know the importance of the games to them,” said Quenneville. “We certainly weren’t happy with the way things ended the other night (5-0 loss to the Avalanche in Denver). But they’re going to be ready, they’ve got a big game tonight as well.
“We’ll do what we can to make sure that we’re playing hard and the right way. It will be a good test.”
Certainly the Blues have the pressure, because that game Quenneville mentioned was a 4-2 loss to Washington that handed St. Louis their third loss-in-a-row. If that string runs to five thanks to the Blackhawks, it will make the team feel just a bit better about a season ending much earlier than usual.