The Good: Wings lose, Flames lose, Ducks lose.
The Bad: Hawks win, Avs win, Canucks win, Wild win.
What does that have to do with me?
Three points separate 8th from 13th. That's Detroit, Dallas, Calgary, Minnesota, Anaheim and St. Louis -- all clustered together in a dead heat. Nashville is inching closer to the Kings/Canucks/Avs/Yotes cluster; actually, that's an optical illusion; what's happening is, Detroit and company are slipping farther away. There's five points between Nashville and Detroit now.
Here are the standings:
- San Jose Sharks 37 (1) +7
- Chicago Blackhawks 37 (2) +7
- Los Angeles Kings 44 (4) --
- Vancouver Canucks 46 (3) -2
- Colorado Avalanche 48 (6) -4
- Phoenix Coyotes 49 (5) -5
- Nashville Predators 51 (7) -7
- Detroit Red Wings 56 (8) -12
- Dallas Stars 56 (10) -12
- Calgary Flames 57 (9) -13
- Minnesota Wild 58 (13) -14
- Anaheim Ducks 59 (11) -15
- St. Louis Blues 59 (12) -15
- Columbus Blue Jackets 66 (14) -22
- Edmonton Oilers 80 (15) -36
These are standings in points-blown.
Two points "awarded" for every loss, one point for every OTL/SOL. 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.
Tie breaker is games-played, except that the winner of the tie breaker is the team who has played more games. If this seems counter-intuitive, consider this: A team with a 10-2 record is better than a team with a 2-2 record, who is, in turn better than a team that's 0-2.
Okay, so here's the promised new feature:
Since the end of the regular season is in sight, I'm going to start doing something for the blog that I usually just do in my head anyway. Namely, a run-down of the record each team needs from here on out, in order to make the playoffs. I'm going to assume 95 points is the magic number. I know some people think it will be higher. But they're wrong. It might even be lower, down around the usual 93; that depends on whether the Wings/Stars/Flames/Blues/Ducks/Wild cluster sticks together (beating the crap out of each other) or if one team gets hot. Because all it takes is one, and the others are toast.
The other assumption I'm going to make: I'm going to assign each team the league-average number of OTL/SOLs. It doesn't really matter. I could pretend they don't exist, but I think including the loser points will give a more realistic picture. The number in parentheses is games remaining.
- San Jose Sharks (19) 2-15-2
- Chicago Blackhawks (19) 2-15-2
- Los Angeles Kings (20) 7-12-1
- Vancouver Canucks (19) 7-11-1
- Colorado Avalanche (19) 8-10-1
- Phoenix Coyotes (18) 7-9-2
- Nashville Predators (20) 10-8-2
- Detroit Red Wings (19) 12-6-1
- Dallas Stars (20) 13-6-1
- Calgary Flames (19) 12-5-2
- Minnesota Wild (20) 14-5-1
- Anaheim Ducks (19) 13-4-2
- St. Louis Blues (19) 13-4-2
- Columbus Blue Jackets (18) 17-1-0
- Edmonton Oilers (19) n/a [if they go 19-0-0, they will be 13 points short]
What jumps out at me, looking at this: the Wild, Ducks and Blues aren't going to make it. The 8th seed is going to come down to the Wings, Stars or Flames, which means, it's one of the WIngs or Stars. Which means it's the Wings. I'm going to love that Wings/Sharks match-up.