Zawaski: Ready For A Headache? It’s Time For ‘Hawks Playoff Scenarios

By Jay Zawaski–

Trying to keep up with the NHL Western Conference playoff race is a pain.  After a few hours (my brain doesn’t work mathematically) I finally solved it.  Here’s what has to happen for the Blackhawks to get in the playoffs.

First off, I need to tell you about the ROW column in the standings.  That’s the tiebreaker when the season ends.  ROW stands for Regulation/Overtime Wins.  In English, that means the total number of wins for a team EXCLUDING shootout wins.  The NHL added this category this season to devalue a shootout win.

The Anaheim Ducks hold the 7th seed with two remaining games (vs LA and @ LA).  They have 95 points and 41 ROW.

The Blackhawks hold the 8th seed with two games remaining (@ Detroit and vs Detroit).  They have 95 points and 37 ROW.

The Dallas Stars hold the 9th seed with two games remaining (@ Colorado and @ Minnesota).  They have 93 points and 36 ROW.

The team with the most points wins the playoff seed.

Here’s the simplest way to break it down:

The Blackhawks magic point number is three.  Any combination of Hawks points gained and Stars points lost equaling three will get the Hawks in the playoffs.

For example, if the ‘Hawks win tonight in Detroit, and the Stars lose in overtime or a shootout…the Hawks would gain two points, and the Stars would lose one.  That makes three. ‘Hawks would be in.

If the ‘Hawks win and Dallas loses tonight, that’s two won for the Hawks and two lost for the Stars.  That makes four.  ‘Hawks would be in.

If the Stars should win their remaining two games in regulation, the Hawks need three points (win and at least an overtime or shootout loss) from Detroit.

The Hawks will miss the playoffs if the Stars win out in regulation or overtime, and the ‘Hawks only get two total points.  The Stars 97 points beat the Hawks 97 points.  Hawks would be out.

The Hawks can also get in if they simply take more points than the Ducks this weekend.  They both have 95 points, but the Hawks can’t catch them in ROW.  Both teams have four available points.  The Hawks just need one more point than the Ducks.

Make sense?  I hope so.

More from Jay Zawaski
  • Dan Rakow

    It should be interesting for Black Hawks Fans and Rob Johnson too.

  • Steve K

    If the Hawks get 2 points in the next 2 games and Anaheim gets only 1 of their 4 available points, Hawks are in as well. I think. Is that correct?


    If the ‘hawks can prevent their sticks from hitting people in their faces,
    they should be able to get two points, themselves.

    Any word on the Gretzky statue leaving Edmonton to stand along side Pippen’s bust at the U.C.?

    Sorry, guys, edge of your seat hockey action getting to me.

  • CH

    STAN BOWMAN should have his resume up and ready if the HAWKS miss the playoffs he should be the fall guy not coach Q. Even if they make it scary thing is this idiot will be back another year and if the team gets worse in the middloe of the 2011-12 season he should be launched sooner. Hiring STAN BOWMAN as GM was a mistake from day one

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live