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Blackhawks Wed Apr 04 2012

Hawks Clinch 4th Straight Playoff Berth

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for GB blackhawks icon.pngSaturday's win over the Nashville Predators clinched a playoff spot for the Blackhawks. This will be the fourth consecutive year that the Hawks have made it to the postseason. Currently they are ranked sixth in the Western Conference and eighth in the NHL.

With two games left in the regular season, they'll be wrapping up with the Wild followed by the Red Wings. While their standings aren't at the top of the heap, the Hawks have some good things, and players, going for them as they prepare for playoffs.

First of all, Tazer is no longer concussed! Fans are celebrating the long awaited news that Captain Jonathan Toews has been cleared for contact. He's been skating regularly for two weeks now and the club announced his status on Saturday. He did not play in Sunday's home game against the Wild, but with the next one coming up on Thursday, it's possible Toews will see ice time in at least one more regular season match. The center is a huge asset for the offence. Despite missing 20 games in a row, he still has the second-most points on the team.

Next, Duncs is back! After a five-game suspension, Duncan Keith will be joining the defense once again on Thursday. Keith is a valuable part of the power-play which has been lacking of late and making very little progress toward the net. Keith and Toews aren't the magic bullet of power-plays, but they've certainly offered better chances for success in the past.

The team has coped well without two of their best players. The Hawks may very well face the Predators in the postseason, and defeating them Saturday with neither Toews nor Keith on the ice sent a message about the team's overall abilities. Adding the duo back into the mix will give the Blackhawks a crucial boost in skill and morale as they face stiff competition in the playoffs.

 
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