The St. Louis Blues handled the Chicago Blackhawks’ B-team 3-1 on Saturday, locking up the West’s fourth seed and at least one round of home ice advantage in the 2013 playoffs.
This sets the table for an interesting Pacific Division battle between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings. The winner of tonight’s game will face the Blues in the first round while the loser will face the Vancouver Canucks as the sixth seed.
While the Kings and Sharks have stumbled a bit here and there, the Blues finished the 2013 season on a tear. Today’s win gives St. Louis a 12-3-0 record in the month of April.
If you look at recent history alone, the Blues might prefer to play against the Sharks instead of the Kings.
Los Angeles swept St. Louis in the 2012 playoffs and also took all three of the teams’ matches this season, winning every game by at least two goals. On the other hand, the Blues won two of three contest against the Sharks and dominated the 2012 playoff series 4-1.
Either way, Ken Hitchcock is likely pleased with this situation when you consider the notion that the Blues’ playoff berth was far from guaranteed about a month ago.