For the first time in team history, the Vegas Golden Knights have missed the postseason. Losing Robin Lehner down the stretch did not help for them - Logan Thompson has put in admirable work but the team in front of him has done zero favors. The Golden Knights had an opportunity to make the playoffs, but absolutely squandered it down the stretch. In their last ten games, they’re 3-3-4, and are currently on a three game losing skid, all shootout losses.
The Blues are 8-1-1 in their last ten, having their team record point streak snapped on Tuesday night against the Colorado Avalanche. They still have an opportunity to snag home ice with a win tonight and a Wild loss in regulation. Will that mean that the Blues will have to choose between resting players and getting that win? Probably not - regardless of who the team has put out on the ice together this season, there have been very few instances of the team being checked out. That’s how the Blues have more 20 goal scorers than any team in the NHL, as well as the most 50 point players. They’re the best team for the month of April.
Other than, as Craig Berube put it, a little “tune up” before the playoffs start, the Blues look to be in a good position for the postseason. The Blues are 2-0-0 against Vegas this season, and sweeping the season series to earn win number 50 could well get the Blues some home ice in round one.
That they managed to do all of this without salary cap jujitsu or treating key players like little more than commodities should be part and parcel of a valuable lesson for the Golden Knights as they work to get back into the postseason fracas next year.