The Chicago Blackhawks lost another frustrating game last evening (Feb. 6) against the Calgary Flames. It was yet another loss at the United Center for Chicago. In their last nine home games, the Blackhawks are 2-6-1. Their record in 2018 is 6-7-2 and they are 24-21-8 on the season as they sit seven points outside the last playoff spot with three teams ahead of them. It is really looking bleak now in Chicago.

The frustrating problems of an inconsistent offense, old and slow defense, and a Corey Crawford injury that is so mysterious to the public have created an overall mediocre season.

Just three games above .500 and a +7 goal differential will tell you the Blackhawks are not an overly good team this year, but not league bottom feeding like Arizona or Buffalo. How should the Blackhawks approach the rest of the season? The strategical decision could lye in the Mathematical odds.

Chances at the playoffs

Mathematical odds for the Blackhawks making the playoffs have been measured by They provide mathematical analysis and statistics which provide the odds for a team making the playoffs. The entire league is graphed on a chart with each team's chances from day one of the season to current day, so one could see the peaks and lows of a team's chances at the playoffs.

Right now looking at the Blackhawks, it is not very good.

As of February 7, the chances of the Blackhawks making the playoffs are only at 8.5 percent with 29 regular season games left to play. The loss to Calgary the previous night dropped their chances -6.1 percent as the odds to make it were 14.58 percent before that game started.

January 13 was the last date the Blackhawks' odds were above 50 percent. Since then it has been pretty much a straight downfall to below the 20 percent marker, with just two days last week briefly having a 24 percent chance. Long story short, the sub-.500 play after the new year basically killed their chances at the playoffs.

Now what?

With roughly 65 percent of the NHL season in the books, the odds are clear that a turnaround would be incredibly hard to do. The Blackhawks have only seven teams in the entire league behind them with lower chances of making the playoffs. It is one thing to look at low odds early in the year, but at this point, it is a different story. Seeing as the Blackhawks would have to win most of the 29 games with other teams ahead losing a ton, a seven-point difference looks a lot bigger. The loss to Calgary on February 6 was an absolute dagger in the small hopes of a playoff run.

Now the Blackhawks have some decisions to make. It is probably time to look at the future. It will be hard to move struggling and aging veterans like Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook on account of their massive contracts, but they will probably consider shopping around to get some draft picks and clear salary cap.

It is now a good time to continue to watch the kids play such as Alex DeBrincat, Vinnie Hinostroza, Ryan Hartman, and Anton Forsberg. The veteran core of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Brandon Saad will likely be kept intact, with others being shipped off or cut either this season or over the summer. It also might be best to shut down Corey Crawford and not rush him back.