With a shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday, the St. Louis Blues officially clinched a spot in the playoffs. The Blues will make their sixth-straight playoff appearance. That run of success is now the fourth-longest streak, trailing just the Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers.
Earlier this season, GM Doug Armstrong lowered the bar for the Blues by saying his goal was to just make the playoffs. That goal seemed nonsensical considering the team made a deep playoff run the season prior, but it came on the heels of some significant roster changes. His statement is still ripe for ridicule, but it is important to take the team’s recent accomplishment and put it in perspective.
Yes, a lot of teams in the NHL make the playoffs. Possibly too many. That being said, the league’s divisional playoff format is one that can leave some good teams on the outside looking in. There are no guarantees, even if your team has an outstanding season.
The Blues have punched their ticket and that’s huge. The NHL playoffs are an unpredictable ride with plenty of unexpected twists and turns. Get in and see what happens. A Stanley Cup win is less about which team had a great season and is more about who gets hot at the right time. The Blues have been on fire since Mike Yeo took over and clinched their spot on the heels of a 11-1-2 run.
The Blues accomplished their first goal which is making it into the NHL’s second season. Now it’s time for the real fun to begin.