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Blues drop season-high fourth in a row; Avs take lead in Central

Apr 11, 2014, 1:03 AM EDT

Blues Avalanche Hockey AP

All of a sudden, the Colorado Avalanche don’t need to settle for being a feel-good story and solid playoff team. With other teams either slipping or staying in neutral, the Avs could very well win their division and even the top spot in the Western Conference.

The door went from slightly ajar to quite a bit more open on Thursday, as Colorado jumped over St. Louis for the lead in the Central Division. Both the Avalanche and Blues finished Thursday with identical records (52-21-7, 111 points, two games left), but the Avalanche have a significant advantage in regulation/overtime wins (47-43). Here is an updated look at the standings:

source:

Here are some highlights of the Blues’ tough loss, their fourth in a row (easily their worst streak of the season):

Take a quick look at closing schedules for Colorado and St. Louis:

Colorado: Friday – at San Jose, Sunday – at Anaheim

St. Louis: Friday – at Dallas, Sunday – vs. Detroit

Chicago is too far behind from a tiebreaker standpoint to catch the Avalanche or Blues, so the Central Division race is straightforward. Out in the Pacific, the Anaheim Ducks are clearly at the top while the San Jose Sharks will host the Los Angeles Kings.

Ultimately, the two races to watch out West are the Avalanche vs. the Blues and the Dallas Stars vs. the Phoenix Coyotes.

For the sake of comprehensiveness, here’s a look at the East standings, too:

source:

  1. jernster21 - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:18 AM

    Go Avs Go!!!!!

    • strictlythedanks - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:15 AM

      Go Wild, everyone!!!

  2. charlieconway96 - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:22 AM

    I’ve always wondered what you have to say to get a 10 minute unsportsmanlike penalty. From all the lip reading that I’ve done over the years (yeah, I’m an expert at picking out four letter words) I’d imagine its gotta be something reeeaally bad.

    Then again, I’m not ever gonna try to get in the mind of Steve Ott.

    • mp1131211 - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:50 AM

      From what I understand, it’s about personal threats and/or exceedingly personal insults. Not like “You’re F-n’ blind.” But like “Are you blowing the other team’s coach? Don’t hide it, I know you are” …. type of thing.

  3. savior72 - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:56 AM

    The Blues just went from possibly winning the Presidents trophy to not even winning their division. That’s sad.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:22 AM

      Look at the other two teams up there, though. Absolutely no shame in not winning that division.

      • getadealdonealready - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:57 AM

        Agreed, but they basically lost to a JV squad last night. The big names that dressed for the wild didn’t play a ton. I know the shot total was lopsided, but I imagine Blues fans and players for that matter can’t be very confident heading into the postseason.

    • pxland - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      That’s not sad at all.

  4. jpat2424 - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    It will be another first round exit for the blues.

  5. penvik - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    What about the east, no story lines there?? Philly, Columbus, & Detroit all tied at 91 pts. Matchups could be Boston/Pitt vs. those three teams. Lots of changes could still happen.

    • tmoore4075 - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:55 AM

      Yeah it’s gonna be an interesting weekend in the East and West. Detroit and CBJ can move ahead of Philly if they both win tonight. Then tomorrow Pens/Flyers will be huge for all three of those teams too.

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      You have the near-season-long league leaders in a tailspin being passed in their division by a team that finished dead last in the conference last year. You have the defending champs minus their two biggest names pulling it together for a postseason push.

      And you have a Game 82 matching up the two teams fighting for that last spot in the West.

      And that’s just basically in one division, ignoring the the fact that the Ducks are once again flying under the radar to possibly win the one-seed, a complete implosion by a team even most Canadians couldn’t root for when they were in the SCF a few years ago, and a 2012 champ that won’t go away.

      Top to bottom, even the most east-coast-biased fans have to acknowledge the West is pretty d@mn compelling right now.

      • tmoore4075 - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:58 AM

        Not gonna argue that but the last 3 spots are still up for grabs in the East so the next couple days will be interesting too. You can’t really call me east coast biased, I’m a Wings fan so I know what it’s like out West. Gonna be a great 3 days for the NHL.

      • comeonnowguys - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:11 AM

        I know you aren’t. :) It was for the OP.

  6. vbcaps - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    This could be worse case scenario for the blues, they do not want to have to face Chicago in the first round.

  7. blackhawks2010 - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    Wow, the wheels fell off the Blues quickly, not the time of year you want to start playing awful hockey.

  8. greej1938l - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    And a Blackhawks fan with another brilliant comment

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:13 AM

      Pick a reply:

      1. “It’s what we do.”

      2. “It’s a good thing we have the monopoly on comments like that.”

    • hammerhead5573 - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      Do you need BlackHawks fans to speak slower for you?

      There isn’t anything posted on this thread so far that is completely irrational. It was just last week that some fans were saying the wheels were coming off the BlackHawks. Unfortunately going into the playoffs; losing and looking bad doing it brings these thoughts forward. Fortunately for teams like the Avs, Ducks, the Canadians and Bruins are looking pretty good going in. It not breaking news.

      • tved12 - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:43 PM

        Don’t forget the Wild, they’ve been really hot the last 8 games or so!

  9. skeeterbarnes - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    What surprised me is that not one Blues player went after Rupp right after that hit. granted they may have had a scoring chance, but that kind of hit usually draws a crowd of teammates ready to rip a guy apart. I missed the game, but did anyone go after Rupp later or did he get kicked out?

    • tved12 - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:44 PM

      Not really. If you look at the hit it looked more unfortunate than intentional. Had it been the other way around I’m certain there would have been fisticuffs, especially with the bad blood between the Wild and Blues.

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