The Good: (Thursday) Wild lose, Sharks lose; (Friday) Wild lose again, Sharks lose again, Wings half-lose.
The Bad: (Thursday) Kings lose, Hawks win, Yotes win, Preds win, Blues win, Nucks win; (Friday) Ducks win, Flames win.
Now that my head has stopped hurting after last night's stupid, stupid (stupid) game, I'm eager to run the numbers and see if there's any kind of silver lining...
Well, here's one: The Kings may be six points from 9th place, but they are seven points from San Jose and a top three seed. I would have been more comfortable with a couple of wins than a couple of losses; but I have to say, the Kings are still in great shape, provided of course that they start winning again. It should also lighten the moods of even the most cynical Kings fan that (1) with all of Phoenix's ridiculous against-all-odds winning, the Kings are still only 4 points back (measured my -- correct -- way), and (2) The Ducks, unless they plan on only losing one more of their last 12 games, are still screwed.
Calgary has put themselves in position to steal eighth place. I still think they're not going to make it, but 7-4-0 is much easier to imagine than 9-4-0. If they win against Minnesota on Sunday, they will only need to go 6-4 the rest of the way, which is rough going, but not insane. And Minnesota, since I suggested they might be able to overtake Calgary by Sunday night, has gone completely into the toilet.
Kings' remaining games are: NYI, COL, COL, STL, DAL, MIN, NAS, VAN, ANA, ANA, PHX, EDM, COL. Seven of thirteen games against likely non-playoff-bound teams. A three game series against the Avs. I put the first seven in bold because I think the goal needs to be to get to 95 by the time we get back from Nashville. (And I do think it would be good to get to 47 wins [franchise record]; seven more wins, that's doable. The ship appears to have sailed on the dream of 106 points.)
But, mostly, I don't want to go into the last three games needing even one point, and not just because it's PHX, EDM and COL: the last two are back-to-back...
Here are the standings* (if you haven't seen my version of standings before, scroll to the bottom for the explanation):
- Chicago Blackhawks 44 (1) +9
- San Jose Sharks 46 (2) +7
- Phoenix Coyotes 49 (4) +4
- Vancouver Canucks 51 (3) +2
- Los Angeles Kings 53 (6) --
- Colorado Avalanche 54 (5) -1
- Nashville Predators 57 (7) -4
- Detroit Red Wings 59 (8) -6
- Calgary Flames 61 (9) -8
- St. Louis Blues 65 (10) -12
- Dallas Stars 65 (13) -12
- Anaheim Ducks 66 (11) -13
- Minnesota Wild 68 (12) -15
- Columbus Blue Jackets 73 (14) -20
- Edmonton Oilers 91 (15) -38
And here's the record each team needs from here on, to get to the assumed (by me) magical point total of 95:
- San Jose Sharks**
- Chicago Blackhawks**
- Phoenix Coyotes 1-10-0
- Vancouver Canucks 2-9-0
- Colorado Avalanche 4-7-1
- Los Angeles Kings 5-8-0
- Nashville Predators 5-6-0
- Detroit Red Wings 7-5-0
- Calgary Flames 7-4-0
- St. Louis Blues 10-2-0
- Dallas Stars 11-2-0
- Anaheim Ducks 10-1-1
- Minnesota Wild 10-0-1
Columbus Blue Jackets Edmonton Oilers
*standings in points-blown explained: "points blown" means, literally, how many points your team could have had, but squandered; a loss is 2 blown points, a "half-loss" (OTL/SOL) is one blown point, a win is zero blown points. The resulting standings are golf-like, the fewer blown points the better. Two points "awarded" for every loss, one point for every OTL/SOL. Again, lowest point total is best. Number in parentheses is the official standings (via ESPN). Last number (+/-) is number of points (in my system) ahead or behind Los Angeles. Because it's a Kings-centric universe.
**already hit 95 points. They can lose the rest of their games now, and should, if they want to avoid Detroit in the first round.