ST. LOUIS — After a topsy-turvy, injury-filled season, the St. Louis Blues can breathe at least a bit easier now. They're headed to the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Blues clinched a berth Friday night after their 4-3 overtime loss in Vegas and Colorado's 3-2 victory over Los Angeles.
The Blues will be the No. 4 seed in the West Division, facing either the Golden Knights, Minnesota Wild or Avalanche. Those three teams are separated by five points or fewer heading into the last few games of the regular season.
It was an injury-filled season for the Blues that saw them sitting outside the playoff picture in late April. But the team rallied as the season wound down, led by their captain Ryan O'Reilly, and salvaged a fourth-place finish in the division.
Throughout the season the Blues had to deal with injuries to key players such as Vladimir Tarasenko, Ivan Barbashev, Robert Thomas, Carl Gunnarsson, Tyler Bozak, Colton Parayko and Oskar Sundqvist.
It's unknown when the postseason will begin, since the league needed to add makeup games to the end of the 60-game calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Blues will play the No. 1 seed in the West in a seven-game first-round divisional series, and then face the winner of the West No. 2 vs. No. 3 seed matchup. If they were to make it out of the divisional rounds, they would then compete in a conference championship round, with the Stanley Cup Final waiting after that.
The NHL is planning for the 2021 version of the playoffs to be played in home arenas, and not a "bubble" situation like in 2020.