Scoreboard watching, calculating the points needed to squeeze into the playoffs and being dependent on a home-heavy schedule to produce favorable results is not how the Blues planned to spend the final two weeks of the regular season.

After cruising into the Stanley Cup playoffs a year ago, the late-April dates on the calendar were supposed to be a tune-up time for the Blues. But the NHL postseason party doesn’t play favorites, with invites only going out to those who earn them. And for parts of the shortened season, the club could only send its regrets.

With a half-dozen games to play, the Blues are in position to lock down a playoff position, if they can take care of the opponents below them in the Western Conference standings. In addition to hosting five of their last six games at Scottrade Center, beginning tonight with Phoenix, the No. 7-seeded Blues will face teams No. 10 or lower in five of the six matchups.

Advantageous? Yes. Comfy? No.

But the Blues can rest on the fact that if they advance, their preseason plans of playing deep into the playoffs is not far-fetched. As the No. 2 seed in the West last year, the Blues were swept by No. 8 Los Angeles in the second round, and the Kings steam-rolled to their first-ever Stanley Cup.

“Our players look at what happened and are thinking maybe it could be us … if we can just get in,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “We’re going to have some real tough games here the next little while. But I think everybody feels that if you can just get in, you’ve got a chance. We’re just trying to get in right now.”

The Blues are in better shape than LA was in 2012-13, when the Kings were 27-22-12 before making a late charge. They went 13-5-3 in their last 21 games, grabbed the eighth seed and then won 16 of 20 playoff games to claim the Cup.

No one is etching the Blues’ name into the trophy, but after dropping to 17-14-2 in the lockout-shortened season, they are coming on at the key time, winning seven of their last nine games.

“I think it’s kind of the same situation (as the Kings),” forward Patrik Berglund said.

Like LA, the offensive-starved Blues are winning with goaltending and defense. The club hasn’t produced more than two goals in any of its last six games, but it’s 4-2 in that stretch. Goaltender Brian Elliott is 6-1 with a 1.03 goals-against average and .959 save-percentage since April 1.

But while the Blues managed only one regulation goal in Tuesday’s 2-1 shootout win over Vancouver, they appeared more willing to do the dirty work.

“Better, better,” Hitchcock said. “Not all the way there, but better. There are some guys that have to learn how to do it, but there was a lot of conscious effort to go into scoring positions. We went the short route to the net instead of the long route.”