NHL schedule: Five questions for Friday

Dilip Vishwanat

A daily feature which asks the five hardest-hitting questions imaginable about this day in the NHL. Will our quandaries be answered? (That doesn't count as one of the five questions.)

1. Will Ken Hitchcock record his 600th career victory?

Hitchcock is looking to become the 11th coach in NHL history to record 600 wins. Of course, Friday's game between the St. Louis Blues and Columbus Blue Jackets has playoff implications (which is probably more important to the coach), but a win would be doubly sweet given the personal accolades that come with it.

2. Will Hitchcock's decision to sit Brian Elliott prove to be a mistake?

Elliott has recorded three consecutive shutouts. He will not have a chance to extend that to four because Jake Allen has be chosen to start against the Blue Jackets.

3. Will the Anaheim Ducks clinch a playoff berth?

They would become the second team in the West and fourth in the league to do so. Despite not actually playing on Friday, the Ducks can clinch if: A.) the Dallas Stars lose to the Nashville Predators or B.) the Detroit Red Wings fall to the Chicago Blackhawks.

4. Can the Red Wings avoid a seven-game losing streak against the Blackhawks?

Chicago has dominated their division rival, collecting six consecutive victories. Can the Wings end the slide on Friday night?

5. How effective will Milan Michalek be in his return?

Michalek has only played in 15 games this season due to knee issues. He has been cleared to play Friday night. Will he help the struggling Ottawa Senators get back on track?

More in the NHL:

Complete Frozen Four coverage

An NHL rink broken down: Sens edition

Eric Wellwood’s horrifying injury

Why puck possession matters

The best of our hockey network

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