GRRRRR! (standings update)

The Good: Flames lose, Preds half-lose, Avs lose, Nucks lose.

The Bad: Kings lose, Wings win, Yotes win, Sharks win.

Meh: Stars win.

So?

  • Calgary inches toward oblivion. They've got one more loss in the budget, and then that's it. 
  • The Kings do their best to make Calgary relevant. They're not the only team sucking right now (Colorado?), but it might seem like it to the Kings faithful, so-called. Rich Hammond's Calgary/Kings magic number is looking more and more meaningful. Not that it ever was otherwise. I just found it highly unlikely that the Kings would have trouble getting to 95. What is that magic number now? 8. Eight points in total, made up of either Kings points for or Calgary points-blown. However, see "tie-breakers" below, because there is a way that 7 is the magic number, provided they get there the right way.
  • I still maintain the real magic number (for the Kings) is likely to be five. 95 total points. But I'm sweating a little bit. 
  • Time to revisit tie-breakers: Kings have five more wins than Calgary, and the odds of the Flames closing the gap are about zero (e.g. Calgary goes 6-1, and the Kings go...1-6-1? Uh, could happen. But. Won't.). However, if the Flames do tie the Kings and finish with the same number of wins, the second tie-breaker is season head-to-head record, and Calgary wins that one. 
  • Calgary can't finish with more wins than 44. The Kings have 42. Therefore, 3 more wins (or a combination of Kings wins and Calgary non-wins adding up to three), means the Kings would prevail in any tie-breaker with Calgary. So the magic number is 7, not 8, if the Kings do it by going 3-4-1. However, if the Kings go 0-1-7, 1-1-5, or 2-2-3 and end up tied with Calgary at 97, Calgary prevails. 
  • Colorado -- Kings have one more win right now, and they lead the season series 5 points to 3, with one game remaining between them, the last game of the season, in Colorado (a dreaded afternoon game of course). So a tie-breaker with Colorado could go either way at this point.
  • Detroit - Kings have three more wins than the Wings and the season series was even. Since they are separated by one point now, it's likely if they are tied at the end of the season, the Wings will not have made up those three wins, so the Kings will likely prevail in a tie-breaker with Hockeytown.
  • Nashville - don't be tied with Nashville. They've already won the season series and they have one more win than we do right now. There's one more game with them. This Tuesday. Kind of important.
  • Tomorrow's important games: Avs/Sharks, Flames/Caps. 
  • My new second favorite team: Columbus. They play the Wings three times. The Wings have seven games left.

Here are the standings in points-blown* (if you haven't seen my version of standings before, scroll to the bottom for the explanation):

  1. Chicago Blackhawks 45 (1) +13
  2. San Jose Sharks 48 (2) +10
  3. Vancouver Canucks 56 (3) +2 [1st in div.]
  4. Phoenix Coyotes 50 (4) +8
  5. Los Angeles Kings 58 (7) --
  6. Detroit Red Wings 59 (6) -1
  7. Colorado Avalanche 59 (8) -1
  8. Nashville Predators 60 (5) -2
  9. Calgary Flames 67 (9) -9
  10. St. Louis Blues 69 (11) -11
  11. Dallas Stars
  12. Anaheim Ducks
  13. Minnesota Wild
  14. Columbus Blue Jackets
  15. Edmonton Oilers
And here's the record each team needs from here on, to get to the assumed magical (official) point total of 95***:
  1. Chicago Blackhawks**
  2. San Jose Sharks**
  3. Phoenix Coyotes**
  4. Vancouver Canucks 0-6-1
  5. Nashville Predators 1-4-1
  6. Detroit Red Wings 2-5-0
  7. Los Angeles Kings 2-5-1
  8. Colorado Avalanche 3-5-0
  9. Calgary Flames 6-1-0
  10. St. Louis Blues 8-0-0
  11. Dallas Stars
  12. Anaheim Ducks
  13. Minnesota Wild
  14. Columbus Blue Jackets
  15. 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.

***95 points is the likely playoff threshold. It might end up being 94 or 96. 93 is unlikely to be enough for the teams currently on the outside looking in.

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