While it might be on a technicality, the Blackhawks return to the postseason for the first time since the 2016-17 season. This time around, however, the Blackhawks find themselves in the unfamiliar role of playing the underdog.
The return to play plan extends the playoffs to 24 teams, starting with a qualifying round. Under this format, the Blackhawks are the 12th seed and will play the fifth seed, the Edmonton Oilers.
After years of being perennial Cup favorites, the Blackhawks have some of the longest odds currently to win the franchise’s seventh Stanley Cup title. As of May 27, the Blackhawks odds have some variation. You can find them at anywhere from +5000 to +10000 to win the Cup, the latter being tied with the Montreal Canadiens for the lowest of the 24 teams remaining. The +5000 number still places the Blackhawks in the lower third of the 24-team field.
At +800, the Colorado Avalanche possess the Central Division’s best odds to win it all. Last year’s champions, the Blues, are at +1000 to repeat.
While the Blackhawks aren’t favorites in their first round matchup with the Oilers, the odds say they won’t exactly be a pushover either. The Blackhawks are +130 to advance past the Oilers in the play-in round. For context, the 12-seed Canadiens in the East sit at +170 to upset the Penguins in their matchup.
Though it’s been an up and down campaign for Chicago in 2019-20, Hawks fans know come playoff time it’s never wise to count out the likes of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford.