NHL Playoff Watch Daily – Chicago Blackhawks face critical matchup against Nashville Predators

6:59 AM ET

Tim KavanaghESPN.com

CloseTim Kavanagh is a senior NHL editor for ESPN. He’s a native of upstate New York.

There was a time earlier in the 2021 NHL season when it looked like the Chicago Blackhawks had arrived back on the scene as a legitimate playoff contender. The young wave had injected energy, guided by veterans of the dynastic era like Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith.

Chicago has drifted back a bit since then. While the Blackhawks’ playoff hopes remain mathematically alive, they need to start stringing together more wins, as they’ve gone 5-5-0 in their last 10. They have a chance to make up some ground on Wednesday night as they welcome the Nashville Predators to the United Center. Unfortunately, this is perhaps the wrong opponent against which to start a big rally; the Preds have won all six matchups in the season series, with an overall goal differential of 19-8.

As we enter the final stretch of the regular season, it’s time to check in on all the playoff races — along with the teams jockeying for position in the 2021 NHL draft lottery.

Note: Playoff chances are via Money Puck. Tragic numbers are courtesy of Damian Echevarrieta of the NHL.

Jump ahead:Current playoff matchupsRace for No. 1 pick

East Divisionplay

0:31

Josh Bailey notches a pair of goals in the Islanders’ 6-1 thrashing of the Rangers.

Points: 62Regulation wins: 24Playoff position: E1Games left: 10Next game: @ NYI (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 99.1%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 62Regulation wins: 21Playoff position: E2Games left: 10Next game: vs. WSH (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 98.5%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 61Regulation wins: 22Playoff position: E3Games left: 10Next game: vs. NJ (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 99.5%Tragic number: N/A

2 Related

Points: 58Regulation wins: 19Playoff position: E4Games left: 12Next game: @ BUF (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 95.9%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 52Regulation wins: 20Playoff position: N/AGames left: 10Next game: vs. PHI (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 6.8%Tragic number: 15

Points: 47Regulation wins: 13Playoff position: N/AGames left: 11Next game: @ NYR (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 0.2%Tragic number: 11

Points: 34Regulation wins: 11Playoff position: N/AGames left: 11Next game: @ PIT (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: E

Points: 31Regulation wins: 9Playoff position: N/AGames left: 10Next game: vs. BOS (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: E

Central Divisionplay

0:37

Sam Bennett tallies two goals in the Panthers’ 5-1 rout of the Blue Jackets.

Points: 65Regulation wins: 22Playoff position: C1Games left: 11Next game: @ FLA (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 65Regulation wins: 22Playoff position: C2Games left: 9Next game: vs. CAR (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 62Regulation wins: 24Playoff position: C3Games left: 10Next game: vs. CBJ (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Catch NHL games streaming live every night (and on replay) this season on ESPN+. Click here for the upcoming schedule and to learn how to subscribe.

Points: 51Regulation wins: 17Playoff position: C4Games left: 9Next game: @ CHI (Apr. 21)Playoff chances: 36.6%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 50Regulation wins: 16Playoff position: N/AGames left: 11Next game: @ DET (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 59.3%Tragic number: 21

Points: 47Regulation wins: 14Playoff position: N/AGames left: 10Next game: vs. NSH (Apr. 21)Playoff chances: 4.1%Tragic number: 16

Points: 39Regulation wins: 14Playoff position: N/AGames left: 8Next game: vs. DAL (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: 4

Points: 39Regulation wins: 11Playoff position: N/AGames left: 8Next game: @ TB (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: 4

North Divisionplay

0:49

Tanner Pearson’s two goals fuel the Canucks to a 6-3 win vs. the Maple Leafs.

Points: 61Regulation wins: 22Playoff position: N1Games left: 10Next game: @ WPG (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 57Regulation wins: 21Playoff position: N2Games left: 11Next game: vs. TOR (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 99.9%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 56Regulation wins: 25Playoff position: N3Games left: 12Next game: vs. MTL (Apr. 21)Playoff chances: 99.6%Tragic number: N/A

A panel of NHL players, coaches, GMs and other front-office personnel ranked the best players at each position:

• Centers• Wingers• Defensemen• Goalies

Points: 47Regulation wins: 17Playoff position: N4Games left: 13Next game: @ EDM (Apr. 21)Playoff chances: 78.2%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 41Regulation wins: 16Playoff position: N/AGames left: 11Next game: vs. MTL (Apr. 23)Playoff chances: 12.7%Tragic number: 16

Points: 39Regulation wins: 12Playoff position: N/AGames left: 17Next game: vs. OTT (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 9.7%Tragic number: 26

Points: 36Regulation wins: 12Playoff position: N/AGames left: 10Next game: @ VAN (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: 9

West Divisionplay

0:30

Anze Kopitar’s goal in the second period all but seals the game for the Kings.

Points: 66Regulation wins: 25Playoff position: W1Games left: 11Next game: vs. SJ (Apr. 21)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 64Regulation wins: 27Playoff position: W2Games left: 13Next game: @ STL (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 59Regulation wins: 23Playoff position: W3Games left: 12Next game: @ ARI (Apr. 21)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 45Regulation wins: 16Playoff position: W4Games left: 10Next game: vs. MIN (Apr. 21)Playoff chances: 29.6%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 44Regulation wins: 13Playoff position: N/AGames left: 13Next game: vs. COL (Apr. 22)Playoff chances: 39.6%Tragic number: 25

Points: 41Regulation wins: 12Playoff position: N/AGames left: 11Next game: @ VGS (Apr. 21)Playoff chances: 8.8%Tragic number: 18

Points: 40Regulation wins: 15Playoff position: N/AGames left: 13Next game: vs. MIN (Apr. 23)Playoff chances: 22%Tragic number: 21

Points: 35Regulation wins: 9Playoff position: N/AGames left: 9Next game: vs. VGS (Apr. 24)Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: 8

Current playoff matchupsEast Division

No. 1 Washington Capitals vs. No. 4 Boston BruinsNo. 2 New York Islanders vs. No. 3 Pittsburgh Penguins

Central Division

No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. No. 4 Nashville PredatorsNo. 2 Florida Panthers vs. No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning

North Division

No. 1 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. No. 4 Montreal CanadiensNo. 2 Winnipeg Jets vs. No. 3 Edmonton Oilers

West Division

No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 4 Arizona CoyotesNo. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 3 Minnesota Wild

Race for the No. 1 pick

The NHL uses a draft lottery to determine the order at the top of the first round, so the team that finishes in last place is not guaranteed the No. 1 selection. New for 2021, a team may move up a maximum of 10 spots if it wins the lottery, so only 11 teams are eligible for the draw for the No. 1 pick. Full details on the process can be found here.

• Who will be the top pick this summer? »• Early top-32 prospect rankings »• How COVID-19 will impact evaluations »

Points: 31Regulation wins: 9

Points: 34Regulation wins: 11

Points: 35Regulation wins: 9

Points: 36Regulation wins: 12

Points: 39Regulation wins: 11

Points: 39Regulation wins: 12

Points: 39Regulation wins: 14

Points: 40Regulation wins: 15

Points: 41Regulation wins: 12

Points: 41Regulation wins: 16

Points: 44Regulation wins: 13

Points: 47Regulation wins: 13

Points: 47Regulation wins: 14

Points: 50Regulation wins: 16

Points: 52Regulation wins: 20

Published: 2021-04-21 12:25:39

Tags: #NHL #Playoff #Watch #Daily #Chicago #Blackhawks #face #critical #matchup #Nashville #Predators

source

You might like

About the Author: Hockey Games Today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *