Melting: Avs’ playoff hopes plummet after loss to Blues, Wild win

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The Colorado Avalanche ended the St. Louis Blues’ shutout streak on Tuesday, but … that’s about the only thing that’s really going for them.

Overall, tonight dealt some brutal blows – maybe fatal ones – to the Avalanche’s playoff hopes.

For one thing, the most direct and obvious: the Blues beat the Avalanche 3-1, giving St. Louis five straight wins and victories in 11 of 13 games.

That would be bad enough by itself, as Colorado saw much of the goodwill from Monday’s win against Nashville wash away. Unfortunately for Patrick Roy & Co., it gets worse, as the Wild’s impressive victory over the Blackhawks means that Minnesota holds a five-point lead for the West’s final wild card spot with just five games remaining.

(The Avalanche don’t even hold games in hand.)

Technically, the Avalanche aren’t dead in the water, yet look at this brutal schedule:

Friday: vs. Washington
Sunday: vs. St. Louis
April 5: at Nashville
April 7: at Dallas
April 9: vs. Anaheim

Yikes. It’s not outrageous to wonder if Colorado will even get five points from that stretch, and the Wild can still pile up points to expand the gap.

Meanwhile …

The Blues have to be riding high, as they’re continuing to play stingy hockey and also seem to be getting healthier as the playoffs approach.

OK, maybe that second part is an exaggeration, as they must monitor the health of rising rookie Robby Fabbri:

Yikes.

They also only kept pace with the Dallas Stars, who are still in first place in the Central Division after beating the Predators on Tuesday.

So, it’s not all good for the Blues or all bad for the Avalanche … yet it’s pretty close to being that way.