Okay, get ready for a mind-numbing chart of possible outcomes.
There are five participants. The Kings, Nashville, Detroit, Chicago and San Jose. Detroit and Chicago play each other tomorrow. The Kings play today and tomorrow. Nashville plays today. San Jose tonight.
The rows indicate Kings' outcomes. The far left column (blue with white letters) label the different possibilities for the Kings. W is a win, L is a loss, and T is a OTL/SOL. The "/" separates the Kings' two remaining games. For example, W/W means two wins. There are five possible outcomes: Kings get 4, 3, 2, 1 or 0 points.
The columns indicate outcomes for Nashville and Detroit. Each has one game left, so they are in effect being treated as one team (with a game today and a game tomorrow). Abbreviations are the same as above, with the addition that Wr is a win in regulation, and Wo is a win in OT/SO. This is significant only where Detroit is concerned, because Detroit is playing Chicago, and in several permutations it matters whether Chicago gets one point or zero.
Which brings me to the asterisk. This is where reading the chart gets tricky. But it makes sense, I promise. Think of it this way. Every time either CHI or SJS is mentioned in the chart, what that means is that the Kings have landed in 7th. At which point, the issue of who is 1 and who is 2 becomes important. But because we know what Detroit did in each hypothetical, we also know how Chicago did (since they played each other). In many cases, that's all we need to know; it doesn't matter what San Jose did. So in those instances, the opponent is given WITHOUT an asterisk. However. When you see the asterisk, it means everything depends on what San Jose did in its last game. Therefore: SJS* means: If SJS wins, Kings play CHI; if SJS "ties", Kings play SJS; if SJS loses, Kings play SJS. CHI* means: If SJS wins, Kings play CHI; if SJS "ties", Kings play CHI; if SJS loses, Kings play SJS.
[note: this chart represents the situation before today's games. The second charts reflect the Kings' SOL and the Preds' win]
Now, here's the updated chart, factoring in the Kings' SOL and the Preds' win. The rows for Kings' W/W and L/L are grayed out, since they are now impossible, as are the Preds/Wings columns in which the Preds lose or "tie."
Oops. Forgot about San Jose. Okay, here's one last chart, accounting for SJS's win against PHX. The big difference is ALL ASTERISKS HAVE BEEN REMOVED and the Kings are now twice as likely to play Chicago, because of San Jose's win.