Blues Take Eighth Spot in West

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The Stanley Cup won't be handed out until June, but this is the time when we see teams making runs at the playoffs. And you can't win the Cup if you don't make the playoffs. Race for the Cup is your daily check of where your favorite team stands as the season dwindles.

While teams like Minnesota continue to struggle with the notion of playing every game with a sense of urgency, the St. Louis Blues have caught fire at the perfect time. The young guns went into Columbus Sunday evening and whipped the Blue Jackets. That win, combined with an Edmonton loss to Minnesota, gave St. Louis the eighth position in the Western Conference.

In the East
Eastern Conference, 3/29
1. y-Boston Bruins
104 pts
2. x-Washington Capitals
99
3. x-New Jersey Devils
98
4. Philadelphia Flyers 92
5. Carolina Hurricanes
91
6. Pittsburgh Penguins
90
7. New York Rangers
87
8. Montreal Canadiens
86
9. Florida Panthers
85
10. Buffalo Sabres
82
Eastern Conference, 3/29 1.y-Boston Bruins
104 pts2.x-Washington Capitals
993.x-New Jersey Devils
984.Philadelphia Flyers925.Carolina Hurricanes
916.Pittsburgh Penguins
907.New York Rangers
878.Montreal Canadiens
869.Florida Panthers
8510.Buffalo Sabres
82
Eastern Conference, 3/30
1. y-Boston Bruins
106 pts
2. x-Washington Capitals
99
3. x-New Jersey Devils
98
4. Philadelphia Flyers 92
5. Carolina Hurricanes
91
6. Pittsburgh Penguins
90
7. New York Rangers
87
8. Montreal Canadiens
86
9. Florida Panthers
85
10. Buffalo Sabres
82
Eastern Conference, 3/30 1.y-Boston Bruins
106 pts2.x-Washington Capitals
993.x-New Jersey Devils
984.Philadelphia Flyers925.Carolina Hurricanes
916.Pittsburgh Penguins
907.New York Rangers
878.Montreal Canadiens
869.Florida Panthers
8510.Buffalo Sabres
82
Eastern Conference, 3/29
1.y-Boston Bruins
104 pts
2.x-Washington Capitals
99
3.x-New Jersey Devils
98
4.Philadelphia Flyers92
5.Carolina Hurricanes
91
6.Pittsburgh Penguins
90
7.New York Rangers
87
8.Montreal Canadiens
86
9.Florida Panthers
85
10.Buffalo Sabres
82
Eastern Conference, 3/30
1.y-Boston Bruins
106 pts
2.x-Washington Capitals
99
3.x-New Jersey Devils
98
4.Philadelphia Flyers92
5.Carolina Hurricanes
91
6.Pittsburgh Penguins
90
7.New York Rangers
87
8.Montreal Canadiens
86
9.Florida Panthers
85
10.Buffalo Sabres
82

In the only game Sunday involving playoff contenders, Boston held on late to beat Philadelphia 4-3. The Bruins continue on track to earn the top seed in the East, while Philadelphia has now blown two of the four games they once had in hand on Carolina.

Not only are the Flyers in danger of falling out of a home-ice spot, they have Pittsburgh gaining quickly on them, and that could ultimately mean Philly has to deal with the Devils or Capitals in a first-round series.

In the West

Western Conference, 3/29
1. y-San Jose Sharks
109 pts
2. x-Detroit Red Wings 107
3. Calgary Flames
92
4. Chicago Blackhawks
91
5. Vancouver Canucks
89
6. Columbus Blue Jackets
86
7. Nashville Predators
82
8. Edmonton Oilers
81
9. St. Louis Blues
81
10. Anaheim Ducks
80
11. Minnesota Wild
78
12. Dallas Stars
75
Western Conference, 3/29 1.y-San Jose Sharks
109 pts2.x-Detroit Red Wings1073.Calgary Flames
924.Chicago Blackhawks
915.Vancouver Canucks
896.Columbus Blue Jackets
867.Nashville Predators
828.Edmonton Oilers
819.St. Louis Blues
8110.Anaheim Ducks
8011.Minnesota Wild
7812.Dallas Stars
75
Western Conference, 3/30
1. y-San Jose Sharks
109 pts
2. x-Detroit Red Wings
107
3. Calgary Flames
92
4. Chicago Blackhawks
91
5. Vancouver Canucks
91
6. Columbus Blue Jackets
86
7. Nashville Predators
84
8. St. Louis Blues
83
9. Anaheim Ducks
82
10. Edmonton Oilers
81
11. Minnesota Wild
80
12. Dallas Stars
75
Western Conference, 3/30 1.y-San Jose Sharks
109 pts2.x-Detroit Red Wings
1073.Calgary Flames
924.Chicago Blackhawks
915.Vancouver Canucks
916.Columbus Blue Jackets
867.Nashville Predators
848.St. Louis Blues
839.Anaheim Ducks
8210.Edmonton Oilers
8111.Minnesota Wild
8012.Dallas Stars
75
Western Conference, 3/29
1.y-San Jose Sharks
109 pts
2.x-Detroit Red Wings107
3.Calgary Flames
92
4.Chicago Blackhawks
91
5.Vancouver Canucks
89
6.Columbus Blue Jackets
86
7.Nashville Predators
82
8.Edmonton Oilers
81
9.St. Louis Blues
81
10.Anaheim Ducks
80
11.Minnesota Wild
78
12.Dallas Stars
75
Western Conference, 3/30
1.y-San Jose Sharks
109 pts
2.x-Detroit Red Wings
107
3.Calgary Flames
92
4.Chicago Blackhawks
91
5.Vancouver Canucks
91
6.Columbus Blue Jackets
86
7.Nashville Predators
84
8.St. Louis Blues
83
9.Anaheim Ducks
82
10.Edmonton Oilers
81
11.Minnesota Wild
80
12.Dallas Stars
75

Yes, you see things correctly. The St. Louis Blues are, as of right now, a playoff team. The Blues beat Columbus 5-2 Sunday in Columbus to sweep the home-and-home series. St. Louis has won five straight.

Nashville went into Detroit and beat the Wings 4-3. Not only is that a third straight win for the Preds, but the Wings dropped both ends of back-to-back home games. The Sharks now own a two-point lead over Detroit, and they have a game in hand. Detroit's 225 goals allowed, by the way, is tied for third-most among current NHL playoff teams.

Anaheim held off Colorado, which allowed them to move into the ninth position, one point behind the Blues. The Ducks have been playing well, but with Nashville and St. Louis both also hot, it really hurt Anaheim to drop that home game to the Oilers on Friday.

******

.

What's Next

The Devils try to make a return to the second position, as they visit the Garden to play the Rangers. Since they have a game in hand on Washington, it's an opportunity to "keep pace", so to speak. At one point, it looked like New Jersey had a chance to catch Boston for the East lead, but those odds grow longer and longer by the day.

Meanwhile, San Jose goes to Calgary, and Dallas puts their slim playoff hopes on the line at Phoenix.

x - Clinched Playoff Spot, y - Division Champ, z - Conference Champ; green - Rise in the Standings, red - Fall. The top three teams in each conference are division leaders.

Blues Take Eighth Spot in West originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Mon, 30 Mar 2009 11:00:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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