The last bit of St. Louis related 2011 NHL Playoffs news finally rolled down the assembly line last week, when the St. Louis Blues were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. It seems like so long ago when the Blues were atop the average NHL Power Rankings, Jaroslav Halak couldn't be breeched, and playoff updates were a matter of where exactly the Blues and their Central Division rivals would be seeded, but that was only November.
Since then the Blues have fallen apart involuntarily and then, more excitingly, voluntarily begun to rebuild, getting a great half-season from Chris Stewart and startlingly quick development from Alex Pietrangelo in their fight to keep Scottrade Center occupied in the dregs of April while they coast to a record of 36-33-10.
Meanwhile, the Detroit Red Wings are 46-23-10, second best in the Western Conference, and the hated Chicago Blackhawks remain in playoff contention, hanging on to the last playoff spot in the west with a record of 42-28-8. The rebuilding isn't quite as much fun as all that—or as 2010 seemed to promise—but as the NHL Playoffs begin it's all Blues fans have to hold on to.