Blues, Sharks fail to clinch playoff spots

The San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues failed in their attempts to clinch playoff spots on Sunday. The Sharks fell 4-3 to the Columbus Blue Jackets (more here) while the Blues were thwarted by the Colorado Avalanche 5-3.

On the bright side, neither team carries the same kind of anxieties as the Minnesota Wild must be dealing with right now.

The Sharks remain parked in fifth place with 55 points (three games remaining) while the Blues are one step behind them at sixth place with 54 points and three games left.

While San Jose lost a thriller to the Blue Jackets, the Avalanche handled St. Louis pretty easily. Brian Elliott was pulled late in the second period after allowing four goals on 19 shots. He’s been red-hot lately, but the Blues may worry that the “other” Elliott might show up after he lit up the league following his reemergence.

The West seems like it holds a lot of potential for drama in the last week of the season, but the Blues and Sharks don’t need to panic just yet. Still, they’d feel a lot more comfortable if they took care of business tonight.

Avs unveil new third jerseys

Avs Jerseys

The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.

Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.

(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)

While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.

The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.

Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out

Report: Escrow set at 16 percent

Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr
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Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?

Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:

With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.

That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.

Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.

Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith