That beeping sound you heard Sunday night was the Blackhawks backing into the playoffs.
Earlier Sunday afternoon, that beeping sound figured to be the team's equipment guys backing up the trucks and loading up all the Hawks gear for summer storage after they dropped a crucial 4-3 decision to the visiting Detroit Red Wings.
The Hawks' only hope at that point was to root for Minnesota to beat Dallas later Sunday evening, a position they never thought they'd find themselves in.
"I don't think so," a dejected Patrick Sharp said after the loss. "We were always confident in our abilities. Not very often does this kind of stuff happen, but we've got no excuses -- we put ourselves in this position and now we're forced to sit and watch and hope it goes our way."
"This is a tough situation," Keith echoed. "Now we're forced to wait and see what happens ... see what happens."
"We're keeping our fingers crossed," coach Joel Quenneville said.
Do you believe in miracles?
The Wild stunned the Stars 5-3 and just when things looked hopeless, suddenly the next beeping sound you'll hear is the sound of equipment being loaded and the Hawks' charter taking off for a trip to Vancouver, where they will take on their familiar nemesis, the Canucks, beginning Wednesday night.
"I never thought we'd be talking like we are after we exited that room like we did," an elated Quenneville said late Sunday night. "But hey, crazier things have happened.
"Getting in was everything. Now the fun begins."
And they're hoping to have some reinforcements when they hit the road. Quenneville said both Dave Bolland (concussion) and Troy Brouwer (shoulder) would be accompanying the team to Vancouver.
"We hope that (Bolland) will be a part of the first round of the playoffs and hopefully he can be a part early in this first series," Quenneville said. "(Brouwer) is going to travel with us and we hope he's a part of it too."
Maybe getting away from the United Center for a few games might be just the tonic the Hawks need right now. The Hawks finished up 24-17 at home, where they dropped three of their last four games.
"(Sunday's game) shows you," Keith said, "that for whatever reason, we play a better game on the road ... so far."