Time for a playoff backup plan

The news was good at the Scottrade Center last night – though those of us with Mediacom didn’t get to watch it – as the St. Louis Blues downed the Los Angeles Kings 3-1. People who use the initial “J” scored goals (B.J. Crombeen and T.J. Oshie), as did Paul Kariya. Hooray.

But let’s not tap dance around the issue, like the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s headline “St. Louis Blues clinch season series vs. LA Kings” did. In the long run, this win may not mean much.

The ‘Note sits 10th in the Western Conference, eight points back of the Red Menace for the final playoff slot. They’re also four points back of ninth-place Calgary. Making matters worse, Detroit has a game in hand on both St. Louis and Calgary. Let’s not mince words: The playoffs are likely out of reach.

Sad, yes, but the NHL playoffs are incredible and I’m not just going to sit them out. I’m also not going to cheer for a Western Conference team, meaning it’s time to pick a horse to ride from the Eastern Conference. This year, like others before it, will come down to the Atlanta Thrashers and the Boston Bruins. Boston has the inside track, sitting eighth, two points up on Atlanta, with a game in hand.

It’s easy to pull for the Bruins. They’re an Original Six team, located in an awesome town, with a fantastic-looking jersey. Their roster includes former Blues defenseman Dennis Wideman as well as Team USA backup goalie Tim Thomas.

They’ve also got the secret weapon in the competition for my temporary playoff affection: Fantastic marketing. Observe.

If you’ve got an hour to waste, go to YouTube and search “Bruins Hockey Rules.” Perfect way to burn a Friday afternoon at work.


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