CHICAGO – It turns out that a dramatic end to regulation in Monday’s game against the Jets bought the Blackhawks 24 more hours of being eligible for the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
By Tuesday evening, they were officially eliminated.
The Colorado Avalanche rallied from a 2-0 deficit against the Oilers in Denver to win 6-2, and with that victory officially knocked the Blackhawks out of the playoffs.
It came a night after Jeremy Colliton’s team stayed alive in the postseason by forcing Winnipeg to overtime at the United Center. A Jets goal, which would have put the game away, was disallowed due to an offsides call, then Dylan Strome tied the game with just over two minutes to go.
The Blackhawks would lose in overtime, but the point they earned was enough to keep them six behind Colorado with three games to go. One point by the Avalanche would eliminate them, and they ended up getting two against Edmonton on Tuesday night.
It marks the second-straight season in which the team has missed the playoffs. It’s the first time the Blackhawks have been on the outside looking in in back-to-back campaigns since they missed for five-straight seasons from 2002-2003 through 2007-2008. There was no postseason in 2004-2005 as the season was canceled due to the lockout.
It ends what was a valiant push for the playoffs after the team fired longtime head coach Joel Quenneville in November and were sitting at 16-24-9 on January 17th. They won seven-straight games in January and February, and on the 20th of that month briefly took possession of the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference with a 5-4 win in Detroit.
Following that win, however, the team went on a bit of a roller coaster the rest of the year. They’d lose four of their next five games after that, then won five consecutive contests between March 7-16. Three straight losses following that stretch left the Blackhawks chasing the rest of the year, and they were never able to catch up.
Now it’s three more games for the Blackhawks before another long spring and summer off. They’ll face the Blues on Wednesday, the Stars on Friday, before finishing against the Predators in Nashville. All three of those teams are going to the playoffs, something that will have to wait till next year for the team in Chicago.