There's one way for the Blues to win the Central Division this evening: they get a point and the Dallas Stars don't. That's it. They're not in control of their own fate; the Nashville Predators need to lend a hand. Depending on the outcome of both games tonight, the Blues could either play the Minnesota Wild in the first round or the Chicago Blackhawks - both teams that beat the Blues in six games in the first round the two previous years.
Who you got? Who you want? The Blackhawks have been a tire fire recently against Western Conference playoff teams; the Wild seemed to be tottery down the stretch. But as we all know, the playoffs are different beast, especially for the Blues. As the Central Division team that's been playing consistently the best down the stretch, there are a lot of expectations on them for this post-season.
We have to finish the regular season first.
On March 26th, the Blues shut out the high octane Capitals 4-0 to start Washington's slide. They've lost three straight (0-1-2) and have lost five out of their last seven games. Have they taken their foot off of the gas on the way out to conserve energy for the postseason? Probably not, because no team - not even a Presidents Trophy winner - wants to back into the playoffs.
Will the Blues see Holtby or Grubauer? The Caps play tomorrow night as well, but judging on Grubauer's performance against the Blues in March, my money would be on Holtby to start.
Sure, this last minute drama could've been prevented by even a little better play in December and January, but considering the injuries that the Blues have dealt with on a constant basis this season, a little drama is a small price to pay for a chance to have the second best record in the NHL. What they've accomplished is nothing short of amazing, even considering the team's ups and downs on the ice.
Let's go Preds, and let's go Blues.