The Chicago Blackhawks sit in 6th place in the Western Conference and have officially clinched a playoff berth. Though, if things went the way they could, they may surprisingly find themselves in 4th place. The 4th and 5th seeds are currently occupied by the Detroit Red Wings and the Nashville Predators, Detroit with 99 points and the Predators with 98 points sit barely ahead of the Hawks who currently have 97 points. Though both these teams hold a game in hand over the Hawks, the Hawks still hold a fair shot at 5th and possibly even 4th with a little help.
The Blackhawks finish off their 2011-2012 campaign against the Minnesota Wild and the Detroit Red Wings. If the Hawks could beat the Wild and Detroit that would put the Hawks in position to hop the Red Wings. Although, they will certainly need help from the Wings other final two opponents. The Wings find themselves matched up against the West-leading Blues, who are fighting for the President's Trophy against the Rangers and Canucks, then they face the New Jersey Devils who are prepping for a big first round match-up against the Panthers, and then they finish their season against the Hawks. As you can see, the help may very easily come for the Hawks.
What the Hawks have no control over is how the Predators end up doing. If Chicago is lucky, the Wild and Avs could pull off upsets against the Preds, while the Hawks would also hope that the Stars will be playing their best hockey, as the Stars will be fighting for a playoff spot when facing the Preds in their late season matchup.
Best case scenario, the Hawks would beat the Wild and Wings, the Wings would lose out (including the loss to Chicago) and the Preds would lose out as well. This would leave the Hawks in fourth when the dust settles. However, realistically, the Hawks could maybe expect to be fighting the Red Wings in their final game of the season for the 5th seed, as Detroit's other match-ups against St. Louis and New Jersey will prove to be quite difficult. Meanwhile, expecting the Predators to lose out when 2 of their last 3 games of the season are against non-playoff teams is a little less realistic.