The Blues passed phase one tonight. They defeated the reeling New York Rangers 2-1 in front of a packed house at the Scottrade Center, thanks to BJ Crombeen's 10th goal of the season late in the third period.
Now comes phases two, three, and four: beat Columbus and Nashville on the road, and Nashville at home.
The way the schedule pans out this week, not only for the Blues, but for the teams ahead of them in the standings that the Blues have a shot of catching, favors the Blues.
These teams would be Dallas, Vancouver, Columbus, Anaheim, Edmonton, Minnesota, Nashville, and Los Angeles.
After running off that list of teams, some of you may think I'm nuts.
Quite the contrary, though. It's more of a possibility than you may think.
As of the end of Monday's games, the Blues stand at 55 points, good for 13th in the Western Conference. Nashville lost tonight, so that helped. Los Angeles somehow was able to pull out one point in a shootout loss to Atlanta. The Blues win, along with Edmonton beating Phoenix, allowed the Blues to leapfrog ahead of the Coyotes in the standings.
This is where it gets interesting...
I have broken down the schedules of each team I mentioned earlier in the blog through Saturday night. I have also added the teams behind the Blues in the standings (Phoenix, Colorado) as well. Here it is as follows, along with predictions on my part:
- Dallas: Edmonton, Chicago. (1-1, loss to Chicago)
- Vancouver: @ Calgary, @ Ottawa, @ Toronto. (1-2, losses to Calgary and Ottawa)
- Columbus: St. Louis, @ Toronto, Anaheim. (1-2-1, loss to St. Louis, shootout loss to Anaheim)
- Anaheim: Los Angeles, @ Detroit, @ Columbus. (1-1-1, loss to Detroit, shootout win vs. Columbus)
- Edmonton: @ San Jose, @ Dallas, Clagary. (0-3)
- Minnesota: Calgary, @ Detroit. (0-2)
- Nashville: @ Detroit, St. Louis, @ St. Louis. (0-3)
- Los Angeles: @ Anaheim, @ San Jose, Phoenix. (1-2, loss to Anaheim and San Jose)
- Phoenix: Atlanta, @ Los Angeles. (0-2)
- Colorado: Ottawa, @ Washington. (0-2)
Based on my predictions, along with the Blues, hypothetically speaking, winning their next three games this week, the standings as of Sunday morning could look like this:
5. Dallas (65 points)
6. Columbus (65 points)
7. Vancouver (64 points)
8. Anaheim (64 points)
9. Edmonton (62 points)
10. St. Louis (61 points)
11. Minnesota (59 points)
12. Los Angeles (59 points)
13. Nashville (57 points)
14. Phoenix (55 points)
15. Colorado (53 points)
Once again, these are just my predictions. Things can most definitely change between now and Sunday, but one thing is for certain. If the Blues want to have any shot at postseason activity, they MUST win the next three games. They do that, and it would definitely put them in the conversation as contenders for a playoff spot.