The St. Louis Blues are not making the postseason. With a loss last night against the Detroit Red Wings, the Blues would have been officially eliminated from the NHL playoff picture.
At least officially speaking, they're still in the race this Thursday morning.
The Blues dropped a 10 spot on the Wings at Joe Louis Arena -- yes, 10 GOALS -- in the most lopsided loss in almost two decades for the Wings. We won't bore you with all of the goal scorers on the Blues, since there were nine different ones. Hell, even Cam Janssen scored a goal, his first in 114 games.
Joey MacDonald was pulled from the Detroit net in the middle of the second period, but after rookie Thomas MacCollum, only on the team thanks to an injury to Jimmy Howard, promptly allowed three goals on eight shots, MacDonald returned to the game for the final portion of action.
At the other end of the ice, Jaroslav Halak made 41 saves, which goes to show how much defense was played overall in this one.
Is there room for worry in Detroit? After all, this isn't the kind of performance that exactly inspires confidence. If you're looking from a response from SB Nation's Winging It In Motown, you won't find it. 404 Errors: Red Wings Not Found.
Corey Perry is still putting up a strong case for NHL MVP, but Ray Emery's turning into a savior for the Anaheim Ducks. Perry added two goals to his league-leading total and Emery made 23 saves for his sixth win with Anaheim as the Ducks effectively extinguished the playoff hopes of the Calgary Flames in a 4-2 win.
The Flames still sit three points back of eighth-place Chicago, but they only have four games remaining in their season. The Blackhawks have six games remaining, while the ninth-place Dallas Stars have seven games left on the schedule. It doesn't bode well for Calgary, who have now lost seven of nine games. A win would have bumped Calgary within just two points of Anaheim and within one point of Chicago. Yeah, they needed this one.
As for the Ducks, they jump all the way up to sixth place with the victory, one point clear of seventh place Nashville and right into contention for the fourth seed, just two points behind Phoenix with a game in hand. With Perry, Emery and don't forget Teemu Selanne clicking like they are, they might just leap that high.
When a team loses a guy like Ryan Miller to injury before a big game, you'll have to pardon fans of that team for not being all the excited about the evening's prospects. That's exactly what happened in Buffalo on Wednesday, but luckily Jhonas Enroth was up to the task.
Enroth and the Sabres blanked the visiting New York Rangers by a score of 1-0, lifting their point total even with New York. Holding the tiebreaker, Buffalo actually leaped over NYR into seventh place with the victory. It was, simply put, a goalie duel, as it usually is when the Rangers can't score and Henrik Lundqvist is in the net. He made 34 saves for the Blueshirts in the loss.
The fact of the matter is, the Rangers never established their forecheck and struggled to get pucks to the net. If I was mathematically inclined I could tell you how many times the Rangers missed the net, but unfortunately I can't count past twenty (kidding). The long layoff probably played a role in the Rangers inability to control the puck, but excuses are for losers and Devils fans. This is the final push to playoffs and nothing but perfection is satisfactory.
Elsewhere in the NHL...
Hurricanes 6, Canadiens 2: Carolina won't be sending the Rangers thank you cards for their loss to the Sabres, but the entire situation on Wednesday night does indeed pack the entire Eastern Conference playoff bubble into the elevator. We might not know which teams are going up and which are going down, but it certainly is much more interesting now.
Ninth place Carolina pulled within three points of both Buffalo and New York with their win, and thanks to defeating Montreal, they're only five points back of sixth place in the East. All the teams on the bubble have five games left in the regular season, except for the Canadiens, who have just four remaining.
Devils 3, Islanders 2: Anything but a win would have officially eliminated the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night, but they assured that their season will at least live on one more day with a 3-2 win over the Islanders. Martin Brodeur made 27 saves and Andy Greene scored the game-winning goal with 4:56 left in the third period.