The Flames, for all the reverse-buzz about their season being in the toilet, have had a season much like the Kings'. They started fast out of the gate (6-3-0, beating the Kings in there somewhere), and followed that up with a disastrous run of 2-8-2 (landing them in the Western Conference basement), before leveling off at 4-3-0 in their last seven games. The Flames have beaten Nashville, San Jose, Chicago, Columbus, Philadelphia and Tampa (and LA), so there's no reason to take them lightly. The Flames are currently four points behind the Kings, though the Kings have played three fewer games. In fact, the Kings have games in hand on everybody.
Which reminds me...this morning's standings. Check out the difference between the official (ESPN) standings and my standings (sorted by WIN%):
- The most extreme disparities so far this year between the official standings and my corrected standings.
- The Kings are 10th officially, and 5th ranked by WIN%. Why? Because they have played the fewest games of any team in the conference.
- Chicago has played five more games than LA. Anaheim has played six more games than LA.
- That's why Chicago, 4th in the official standings, is 10th in mine. (The difference of 6 spots is the highest I've seen in the two years of doing this.)
- Anaheim is (by WIN%) 12th, not 8th.
- STL, CBJ and LAK are all much better in reality than in the official standings.
- CHI, MIN, ANA, CGY and EDM have the worst records, purely judged by points blown (PB). However:
- Four points separate 3rd from 11th. Ten points separate 2nd from dead last. The Kings are one point from 2nd, 2 or 3 points from 11th.
- EDM could go on a tear and find themselves in the top four in a month.
- Pretty much anything is still possible.