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No easy road for Hawks

Thursday, 03.03.2011 / 12:25 PM

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer / Countdown to the Playoffs

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Countdown to the Playoffs
No easy road for Hawks
The Chicago Blackhawks are finally looking like a solid playoff team, but while their six-game winning streak has allowed them to leap from 11th to fourth in a matter of a few weeks, they are still not even close to being out of the woods. Their 76 points is only three more than the ninth-place Ducks and 10th-place Predators. The Wild are just four points back in 11th.
 
The rest of the Blackhawks' schedule is statistically the most difficult in the League. Their opponents have an average winning percentage of .586 and of Chicago's 18 games remaining, only 11 are on the road. San Jose's remaining opponents also have a .586 winning percentage, but the Sharks will play 12 of their final 18 games on home ice.
 
Let's break it down for the Blackhawks:
 
Record against teams left on schedule: 12-10-3
 
Games vs. Western Conference playoff contenders: 8
 
Games vs. teams ahead of them in Conference standings: 4
 
Games vs. Eastern Conference playoff contenders: 6
 
Games vs. teams with more than 76 points: 8
 
Biggest challenge: Three games left against Detroit
 
Biggest challenge II: Two games left against Tampa Bay
Quote of the Day

It is really special. I had a lot of friends and family here tonight, and for my first [NHL] game in here it was great. I played here as an elementary-school player in the city championships and this was my first time back. It was a lot of fun.

— Toronto native Brandon Pirri after scoring 2 goals for Panthers in win at Maple Leafs on Thursday
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