The Blues have a total of 85 points with four games remaining in the 2009-2010 season. The maximum amount of points they can achieve is 93. Can the western conference playoff picture be reached with only 93 points? With games remaining against Columbus, Anaheim, Nashville, and Chicago, it’s looking more and more like an emphatic “no”. Even if the Blues tie Colorado for the 8th spot, they would have to beat the tie breaker of wins (number eight Colorado has 42 and number nine Calgary has 40). The Blues are tied in 10th place with Anaheim with 85 points and 38 wins a piece, but the points earned in head to head contests is the next tie breaker which favors Anaheim. We already know where the head to head point total is against the Avalanche (reminder : 0-8). The early season losses (especially at home) are staring the Blues in the face right now, especially the late game meltdown against the same Ducks that ended up in a shootout win for Anaheim. Even if they sweep the rest of the season, the Blues can still lose out on a chance to play the Hawks or Sharks in the first round. However, since the lockout, the 8th spot in the west has required 91 points (2009), 91 points (2008), 96 points (2007), and 95 points (2006).
Aside from the Oilers, every team in the west can compete on any given night. Heck, even the Oilers came back from 3-0 to beat the Blues 5-3 a few months ago and can give a team a run for their money on any night. There are no Islanders, Hurricanes, Panthers, or Leafs in the Western Conference. Colorado, Los Angeles, and Phoenix have rebounded from last year’s season’s in a way that nobody thought was possible, even their own fan base and broadcasters. What does that mean? It will likely mean that 93 points will not be enough to cut it. Let’s hope I’m wrong and that Colorado and Calgary wet the bed over the next week and the Blues can continue their road ice advantage in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
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Written by Patrick McLellan