The cliché is that the Blackhawks will take things one day at a time and will not worry about what other teams are doing.
But they have to worry about what other teams are doing. On Sunday, it was a mixed bag of the three teams in front of them in the standings for the last wild card spot.
The Blues won, the Avalanche lost in overtime and the Wild lost in regulation.
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Here are three important points of the game on Sunday afternoon, a 5-2 victory over the Red Wings.
1. The Blackhawks coach, Jeremy Colliton, is unflappable.
When Colliton gets on the podium, it is often impossible to know if the Hawks won in a beating, lost in a beating or something in between.
You do not have the opportunity to be head coach of the NHL at 33; He is actually 34 years old, his birthday was last month, because of panic over the losses or overreacting to the victories.
While admitting to having seen the positions, he is not worried about the fact that the Hawks have to play virtually the rest of the way to reach the postseason.
"It does not matter," Colliton said. "We just play the next game, we have an opportunity here, we have a little bit of impetus, the guys are playing well, they're being rewarded for their hard work, we have to put that together as long as we can, so we just have to make sure that we do not believe that we are simply going to appear and it will simply happen.
"We have to work, we have to do the right thing and if you do it for about 60 minutes, we'll get the points we want and I'm pretty sure the rankings will be resolved."
2. Cam Ward has not been so good in years.
In the last four games of Ward, all victories, he has stopped 142 of 151 shots for a save percentage of .940.
In each of those games, his saving percentage has been at least .926 or better, not typical of Ward in recent years. Only once since 2012, Ward has had four consecutive games with a saving percentage of .926 or higher, and that was in 2016.
Starting consistently has helped the goalkeeper, who started the season 3-0-2 but suffered a depression after Corey Crawford returned to take most of the starts. But now he is playing his best hockey of the season and is happy to compete in important games.
"I love that we're playing for something," Ward said. "The guys believe in the dressing room that if we keep doing what we're doing, we'll give ourselves a chance, obviously take care of what you can control and that's going out and winning hockey games."
3. There are no goals in the game of power? No problem.
The power play was effective with five goal shots on two occasions, but the Hawks failed to score a power play goal for the fourth time in 21 games.
That did not come back to haunt them because, for the seventh time in 56 games this season, the Hawks were able to score five equal strength goals. Yes, one was an empty letter, but they will take it.
"We show that we can produce (in) five against five, which is good," Colliton said. "We feel pretty good that the game of power is going to happen." We had a really good appearance. I thought that the first power game was excellent. We had many opportunities. But yes, we can win in different ways. "
Here is a summary of the Hawks' 5-2 victory at the United Center:
It does not matter the original six. The Blackhawks are in seventh heaven.
The Red Wings made their only visit to the United Center on Sunday, a sad circumstance for traditionalists who want more games among these six original franchises.
But the relic of a rivalry was of secondary importance to the up-and-coming Hawks, who assembled goalkeeper Cam Ward's 43 saves and maintained the playoff momentum by defeating the Red Wings 5-2 for their seventh straight victory.
It's the Hawks' longest streak since winning seven consecutive games from February 19 to March 4, 2017. They will try to reach eight in a row on Tuesday against the Bruins.
"We're going to keep this going," Ward said.
The Wild Card race of the Western Conference is so clustered that with 55 points, the Hawks are four points from the bottom and four from the first wild card. But do not feel bad about checking the classification; you're not alone.
"I check the positions, yes," admitted Ward. "We know where we are and what we should do, with that said, you control what you can control and that's how you perform and how you prepare, and the guys are doing the right job right now."
The line of Dominik Kahun, Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat was dominant, as each found the scoring sheet in the first three goals of the Hawks. Kahun had two goals and one assist, Strome had one goal and two assists and DeBrincat helped in all three goals of the line.
They had their best game of the season, but they have been a big part of the Hawks' success since coach Jeremy Colliton put them together, not by chance, seven games ago.
How have they been doing it? Kahun is not very sure.
"That's a good question," said Kahun. "We had some good games before, we are all young guys and we just communicate a lot with the ice, maybe it's because we have good chemistry out of the ice."
With 28 goals in each of the last two seasons, DeBrincat has been the main star of the trio and Strome has finally qualified as the third overall pick in the draft four years ago. The Hawks signed Kahun as a free agent not recruited last year without any promise that he would form the team.
But Kahun's talent has been evident since the start of the season, although he still had not had a game like Sunday. In the first period, his quick stick allowed him to score after his initial shot returned him from the skating of a Red Wings player.
His second goal was the biggest, and he came in second place in the third period to give the Hawks a 3-1 lead.
"He's such a good player," DeBrincat said. "You can make those plays so well and it makes the game easier." It is a very good pin and as you can see today, you can still bury the disc. Having that double threat is pretty big. "
Sunday's victory was not secure until Patrick Kane scored on a break with 3 minutes, 33 seconds remaining to extend his streak of points to 14 games. Jonathan Toews added an empty card, his 25th goal of the season, to provide the final margin.
That insecurity is nothing new for the Hawks, who are not in a position to be content with the three teams that are above them in the race for the final wild card spot.
"We are not where we want to be," Colliton said. "We have to keep improving, we can, there is more, so we are happy to have won, we got the two points we needed and we will work again tomorrow and we will prepare for Tuesday, and that is the mentality we should have as a group."
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