The Nashville Predators clinched the final berth in the 2021 Central Division. They will face the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of the playoffs. They also eliminated the Dallas Stars who are no longer defending Western Conference Champions. That means that the Chicago Blackhawks‘ two-game set against them will mean nothing at all. Each team will have a certain draft position based on the results but it isn’t that much of a difference this year.
The Chicago Blackhawks have two very interesting games against the Dallas Stars.
Closing out the season strong is a big deal. The Hawks had a great start to the season but fell off once March hit. It is a young team with a lot of flaws but they mostly bought into what their coach was doing for them. They also had studs like Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat lead the way offensively while Kevin Lankinen was great in net.
These two games are just about the Hawks and Stars feeling good about themselves going into the offseason. There are elite players on both sides that can’t be happy with how the season has gone. You might see some highly competitive hockey as a result, despite the games not meaning anything.
You can look for Kane and DeBrincat to have big games. Kane is an NHL top-ten scorer so he might be interested in padding the stats. Alex DeBrincat currently leads the team with 29 goals. You have to believe that it would mean a lot to him to get to 30 after struggling in 2019-20. These are big-time players that believe in their abilities to be great.
A huge offseason is ahead. It is hard to peg who will stay and who will go but they certainly won’t be bringing back the same team. There are some fun moves to be made with the draft and free agency but these two games take center stage right now. There could be some interesting moments in these games that impact how the offseason goes.
It sounds like some players are going to get a look that might not have had it been a playoff race.
That is really cool because some of these guys are a big part of the future. This is also going to be a game that the United Center has fans at a limited capacity. It has been a long year without fans in the stands so it will be great to have them back. Hopefully, everyone comes out of these games healthy and feeling good about their game going into the offseason.