Sportsnet's Mark Spector chatted with Blackhawks pre and postgame host Pat Boyle and former Hawk turned broadcaster Eddie Olczyk on the latest Blackhawks Talk podcast to help present an Edmonton side of the play-in series against the Blackhawks under the NHL's 24-team playoff format.
We all know the Hawks received some good fortune with the league letting in12 teams from each conference, but if the NHL went about the standings for playoff entry as usual, the Oilers wound't have had to face the Hawks in the play-in round.
"Edmonton is on the exact opposite side of the spectrum from the Blackhawks. Very few people in Chicago thought they'd see a playoff game with the Blackhawks in it," Spector said. "If you go by points in the standings, Edmonton should be in the top four in the group that gets a bye in the first round. But because they lost their last game, their 71st game of the season, a 4-2 loss to Winnipeg, that skewed the points percentage race so Dallas gets ahead of them.
"So Edmonton goes from being a team that was second in the Pacific and looking to have home ice advantage in a playoff series, now they're in a play-in round with Chicago. So people aren't happy. But, I'm going to say this, it might turn out to be an advantage, getting that round under your belt, the short round. You might be more ready to play when the real playoffs start."