ST. LOUIS — It's been an injury-plagued, up-and-down season for the St. Louis Blues, but they still have a shot to create some postseason magic. And if any team has proven they can do that recently, it's this bunch.
With the regular season winding down, the Blues are squarely in the hunt for the fourth and final playoff spot in the NHL's 2021 West Division. Here's how the race is shaping up with just a handful of games to go.
This story will be updated as the season progresses in the final month.
As of May 6, the Blues sit in the fourth and final playoff spot in the West with 56 points. They have five games remaining on their regular season schedule.
The Arizona Coyotes sit in fifth place with 50 points, six points behind the Blues. Arizona has just two games remaining on their current schedule and were eliminated from contention for the fourth and final spot with a loss to the Kings on Wednesday night.
The Los Angeles Kings sit in sixth place in the West Division with 48 points. They have five games remaining on their current schedule.
The Blues can clinch a spot in the playoffs on Friday by recording one more point than the Kings do.
(The Blues have more games remaining than some of their competition because of make up games with the Wild and Los Angeles Kings that were rescheduled for the season's final week.)
The Vegas Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild have already clinched postseason berths out of the West Division.
There is no set start date for the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs to begin, as the season has been extended to accommodate make up games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first two rounds of the playoffs will be a divisional round, with the four playoff teams from the West playing each other. For example, if the Blues clinch the fourth spot, they'll play the No. 1 seed in the West in the first round, most likely Vegas or Colorado.
Around the rest of the NHL, as of May 4, Carolina, Florida, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Edmonton, Pittsburgh, Washington, Boston, Winnipeg and the New York Islanders have clinched playoff spots.