The Friday night San Jose Sharks win against the Phoenix Coyotes sets the stage for this afternoon’s game at the United Center versus the Red Wings. A win takes the Western Conference for the Hawks; a loss leaves them second.
Commenter Dale Halas asked what the second round match-up possibilities (assuming, of course, they make it that far) were for the Hawks in each scenario, given that he heard the Hawks could avoid Detroit if they finish second.
That’s right. If the Hawks finish second, it’s impossible to face the sixth seeded, as the playoff match-ups in the NHL are determinted by seed. In other words, the highest remaining seed plays the lowest remaining seed in each round.
Do the work: given that ground rule, it’s impossible for the second seed and the sixth seed to meet in the second round.
The Hawks will put it on the line this afternoon, though, in hopes they (i) win the conference (which is a nice accomplishment in and of itself) and (ii) play Colorado in the first round rather than Nashville or Los Angeles.