Usually, when you talk about a team playing the role of “spoiler,” the discussion revolves around squads who are dangerous despite their status in the cellar. The Chicago Blackhawks seem primed to represented a different breed of spoiler: an elite team ruining it for bubble opponents.
After beating the Detroit Red Wings on Friday and the St. Louis Blues on Sunday, the Blackhawks rained on the Dallas Stars’ feel-good parade with a 5-2 win on Monday. That ended an unexpected five-win run for the upstart Stars (and extended Chicago’s streak to six straight victories in the process).
That loss lowered the Stars’ odds of finding their way into the playoffs by a little more than 10 percent, according to Sports Club Stats. Dallas also saw out-of-left-field sensation Alex Chiasson’s night end early with an upper-body injury, so it was a tough night overall for the scrappy club.
While that win has the unintended effect of making life easier for their division rival in Detroit, the Blackhawks now need just one point to clinch the top seed in the West.
If that happens, then Chicago will only have the Presidents’ Trophy and the sheer joy of spoiling to keep them entertained.
Then again, winning can be enough motivation on its own, as Andrew Shaw told Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times.
“The feeling of winning is unbelievable,” Shaw said. “No one wants to lose.”This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!