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Blackhawks

When you look at the Western Conference standings, you'll notice that the Blackhawks have three teams to jump to get into the playoffs. It puts them in a tough spot because on one hand, what other teams do is beyond your control.

But it's also relevant to the Blackhawks and what they have to do to get in. Every team is scoreboard watching at this point of the season, especially when the games remaining list reaches the single digits.

"Yeah, I mean just generally watch games at night and obviously watch the teams that are close to us in the standings," Dylan Strome said. "You just keep an eye on them and see what happens. I think it's never a bad thing to be aware of what's going on around you. Obviously, first and foremost is us, but at the same time you gotta know where you stand and what you're fighting for. We all know that in this room but things can change each night in the NHL so I think it's good to be aware."

The Blackhawks were idle on Tuesday night, but the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota were not. In fact, they faced each other and both teams are ahead of the Blackhawks in the playoff picture. So in that instance, is there a sense of trying to mathematically figure out which team winning and losing would give them the better chance at making the playoffs?

"Yeah and then it usually goes into overtime," Strome laughed. "That's usually the way it goes sometimes. You never cheer for one team or for another. Last game of the year, maybe, if the standings are coming down to that, but I think right now with the fortune's kind of in our own hands. I think it's just about us taking care of business and giving it a good effort every night, and hopefully getting one or two [points] every night."

 

There's a delicate balance between exerting too much energy into looking at what other teams around you are doing and focusing on your own game and controlling what you can control. But this is part of the fun of being in a playoff hunt, and the hype surrounding it.

"I'll look," coach Jeremy Colliton acknowledged. "Depends how the day looks. I think it's fun. I love hockey, love watching fun games and certainly games that affect us are more interesting. But doesn't affect ... we're still focused on our own team and we said a few times, if we go on a great run here at the end it will work out. I believe that. I think things have a way of working out if you do your job. That'll be our focus here."

While there may not necessarily be direct rooting interest when channel surfing around the league, there is one thing Blackhawks players and coaches can agree on: anything but a three-point game.

"That's a fact," Colliton said. "No overtime."

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