ST. LOUIS Because he was never invited, he used to pretend the party didn't exist. Avoiding the Stanley Cup Playoffs as an NHL player is difficult. But nine years of not making the guest list can strengthen the ability to ignore.
"The disappointment when you don't make it," Jay Bouwmeester said. "Sometimes you just want to kind of do something else to get your mind off things."
Bouwmeester, 29, is a former No. 3 pick in the NHL Draft, a two-time All-Star who has started 633 consecutive games. But he's also known for another reason. He also holds the record for most regular-season games played without a postseason appearance.
The number reached 762 games on Tuesday, the same rainy night the luck of the defenseman changed. When the St. Louis Blues beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 at the Scottrade Center, they secured their trip to the playoffs. It will be the first of Bouwmeester's NHL career.
"It's good, I guess," Bouwmeester said after he had taken off his skates, placed his hel...