Despite being statistically eliminated from playoff contention for weeks, the Colorado Avalanche had something to play for Sunday night. Colorado prevented the St. Louis Blues from clinching a playoff spot with a 5-3 home victory.
Cody McLeod, Chuck Kobasew, Jamie McGinn and the youthful talent of Matt Duchene all scored for the Avalanche, forcing St. Louis to pull Brian Elliot from the net in the second period.
The Blues will have to win at least one of their last three games in order to lock up their playoff spot as the sixth seed in the Western Conference standings. With two wins, however, the Blues may be able to pass the inconsistent San Jose Sharks, who lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets Sunday.
St. Louis looked poised to make a late postseason run with Elliot in net, but if his insecurities in net from earlier this season return, the Blues could be facing a troublesome road to the Cup. Without Elliot at his best, the Blues stand little chance of making much of an impact in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Elliot entered the game with a record of 8-1 in April and a 1.01 goals against average.
Trap games near the end of the season can be great litmus tests for would-be playoff contenders. If Sunday’s game is any indication, St. Louis has substantial ground to make up before the playoffs begin.
John Engel is a Pac-12 basketball writer for Rant Sports and also works for ESPNLA 710 AM radio in Los Angeles. Follow John on Twitter: @engelsportsguy.