The St. Louis Blues entered Wednesday night with an opportunity to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs. To do so, the Blues would need to beat the Arizona Coyotes, and the Los Angeles Kings would need to lose their matchup against the Calgary Flames. The Blues did their part, taking down the Coyotes 3-1, but the Kings topped the Flames 4-1 to remain in playoff race.
For the Kings, the win put off the seemingly inevitable for another day. They currently sit 10 points out of the second Wild Card spot with just six games remaining on their schedule. For them to make the playoffs, it would require both the Predators and the Blues to lose all six of their remaining games. The Hockey News projects that LA has a 0 percent chance of snagging a playoff spot but gives both St. Louis and Nashville a 100 percent chance despite not clinching yet.
The win for the Blues moves them into third place in the Central Division with 90 points, leaving them one point ahead of the Nashville Predators with six games remaining for each team.
If St. Louis maintains its lead over Nashville and finishes the season in third place in the Central, they will almost certainly face the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the playoffs. Holding off Nashville is important for the Blues, since staying out of the first wild card spot, currently held by Nashville, keeps them from facing the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round.
After teetering on the edge of the playoff picture all season long, St. Louis has quietly become one of the hottest teams in the league over the past few weeks. A tweet from NHL.com’s Blues beat writer Lou Korac after last night’s win shows just how impressive the team has been as of late.
In going 11-1-1 in the past 13 games, the #stlblues have outscored the opposition 41-19.— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) March 30, 2017
The Blues’ offense has been firing on all cylinders, and their defense has come together just in time for the playoffs. They will look to clinch a playoff berth on Friday when they take on the Vancouver Canucks.
Edited by Eli Lederman | firstname.lastname@example.org