With 17 games to play, the Blues can crack the Western Conference in a variety of ways. The simplest: win your games and control your own destiny. Seeing as you have a better shot of winning the lottery than the Blues have of winning 17 consecutive games, we'll just toss this option out. The fact is, the Blues will need to win a majority of their games and will needs some help from teams around the NHL. Welcome to scoreboard watching season. The team has 17 contests left to skate in, which leaves 34 possible points. Earlier this season, I predicted the team would need roughly 95 points to safely make the playoffs, meaning they are 26 points off that mark as they currently sit at a modest 69 points. My prediction could be off by several points, but odds are not by much. The West is far too competitive for any team to sneak in with less than 90 points unless something miraculous happens. For the Blues to be amongst the top eight that move into the second season, several things must occur.WinThe obvious one - this team will not make the playoffs if they don't secure a vast majority of the 34 points left on the table. They won't need all 34, but they will need somewhere in the mid-20s for them to come close to my prediction several weeks back. The team is just coming off a five game winning streak, and obviously has the tools to win on any given night, but need to give a complete effort each time out.
Don't Give Up Easy PointsOne of many stories that has followed this team this season is the crushing comebacks they have allowed late in third periods, giving teams points that frankly shouldn't have them. Even when the Blues ended up winning in OT or in a shootout, the opposing side still captured a point they should not have. Instead of leaving a game against a Western rival +2, the Blues left +1, giving precious points away all season long. This trend can not continue, especially when the Blues face off against teams that surround them - Calgary, Detroit, Dallas, Nashville, Minnesota and Anaheim. A Little Help More like a lot of help, realistically. The Blues need the top teams that have their place secured and the teams in the cellar to beat the sides that are battling the Blues for a playoff spot. The Blues need several teams to lose on a consistent basis, which is a tough order seeing as how many teams are still in contention for the final few playoff spots. This time of the year is as exciting as it gets for NHL fans, as suddenly you take a rooting interest in a game you might not have otherwise. Suddenly you are pulling for Edmonton to beat the Dallas Stars, and you find you hate Detroit just a little bit more - if that's possible. Technically, the Blues could control their own destiny, but the odds of that happening are quite slim. A more plausible situation sees this team needing a whole lot of help from squads around the league, with their playoff destiny riding the hopes that the teams around them fall off.