Blackhawks seal final playoff spot

April 11, 2011

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(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews looks on after the team's loss Sunday to the Detroit Red Wings

The reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks will have a chance to defend their title in the NHL playoffs.

The Blackhawks sealed the last spot in the Western Conference playoffs, but not through their own doing. They lost to the Detroit Red Wings, 4-3, early Sunday.

That put their playoff fate in the hands of the Dallas Stars, who would've taken the eighth seed if they hadn't lost Sunday.

After the Blackhawks' loss, Coach Joel Quenneville told reporters the team's slow start to the season put them in this position.

"It's a rotten spot, you know, with your fingers cross rooting for your season," Quenneville said Sunday.

In the end, the Blackhawks got the help they needed and they'll now be playing the top-ranked Vancouver Canucks in a best-of-seven series. The two teams have developed a heated rivalry over the last few years. Game one is Wednesday evening in Vancouver.