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Blues clinch final West Division playoff spot

It took overtime against Vegas and a Kings loss in regulation.

St Louis Blues v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images

With tonight’s 4-3 overtime loss against the Vegas Golden Knights, coupled with the Los Angeles Kings’ 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, the St. Louis Blues are headed to the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Blues haven’t missed the playoffs since the 2017-2018 season, when the Colorado Avalanche edged the team out by one point.

This season hasn’t been an easy one for the Blues. While not directly impacted by Covid-19, the schedule was subjected to the quirks of the Covid era, and the Blues lost innumerable man-games to injury. The lack of consistency in the lineup caused momentum issues for the team, which lead to prolonged losing streaks and the team playing themselves out of playoff contention.

The team began the year with the retirement of Alexander Steen due to injury, and finishes the year with Carl Gunnarsson and Oskar Sundqvist, two key components of the 2019 Cup run, on the IR.

Down the stretch, starting with their 3-1 win over Vegas back on April 9th, the team has played much more consistent hockey, shoring up their place in the standings and as the fourth seed in the West Division.

Tonight’s game and tomorrow’s tilt may well be a playoff preview. As of the end of Friday evening’s play, the Golden Knights are four points ahead of second place Colorado.