The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the St. Louis Blues by a score of 5-1 last night and improved to an NHL-best 8-1-0 on the season, good enough to clinch a spot in this spring's playoffs. "It's nice to get that out of the way," said head coach Dan Bylsma. "Now we can just work on tweaking some stuff and getting healthy in time for April." While many criticize the NHL playoffs for being too easy to qualify for, with more than half of the league's team's reaching the postseason, some with sub-.500 records, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says that gives the league a leg up. "In other sports, sometimes playoff spots aren't locked up until the last game of the regular season," he said. "That forces teams to use so much energy before the playoffs even start. Whereas I think the Stanley Cup playoffs are the best in sports because of the fact that our entire regular season is almost completely meaningless."