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When I got tickets for Wednesday night's Blackhawks vs. Red Wings game, the playoff push did not factor into the decision. The Blackhawks haven't been to the Stanley Cup playoffs since 2002, have only been in the playoffs four times since I graduated high school in 1995 and haven't been a factor since a few years before that.

I just wanted to have a good time. The Red Wings game was part of a five-ticket package and since my bookie my girlfriend is from the Detroit area, the choice was a no brainer. Now getting Celeste to buy the tickets as a present to me, that took some doing.

But looky looky, the Blackhawks are still technically in the hunt for the eighth and final playoff spot. Basically the Hawks need to win their last three games in regulation to get 90 points. Going into OT will kill the dream.

Those wins have to come tonight vs. NHL-leading Detroit, current-holder of the 8th spot Nashville on Friday and the Red Wings again in the season finale at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday.

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Brad Engel

Brad Engel is the longest-tenured member of The Sun sports staff and has won several national and state awards in his coverage of preps as well as the Chicago Bears, Chicago Fire and general sports.

Patrick Mooney

Patrick Mooney covered politics, prep sports and professional baseball for several print and online media outlets before joining The Sun in August 2007. He concentrates on prep sports, writing features, profiles and breaking recruiting news.

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