A good night for the Kings, and they didn't even play

The Oilers beat the Coyotes and the Wild beat the Hawks, and, although the Ducks beat the Jackets, at least they did it in regulation. That's three losses for three teams the Kings are in a trench war with. And the standings now look like this:

Q OFF.   PTS W% PRJ PB to94 GP W
1 1 VAN 69 0.704 115 29 11-19-3 49 28
2 2 DET 64 0.667 109 32 14-17-3 48 27
3 3 DAL 63 0.643 105 35 14-16-3 49 25
4 4 NAS 60 0.612 100 38 16-14-3 49 21
5 7 COL 56 0.571 94 42 18-12-3 49 22
6 6 PHX 57 0.570 93 43 17-12-3 50 22
7 9 MIN 55 0.561 92 43 18-12-3 49 25
8 10 SJS 55 0.561 92 43 18-12-3 49 22
9 5 ANA 60 0.577 95 44 16-11-3 52 24
10 8 CHI 56 0.560 92 44 18-11-3 50 23
11 11 LAK 53 0.541 89 45 19-11-3 49 22
12 13 STL 51 0.531 87 45 20-11-3 48 19
13 14 CBJ 51 0.520 85 47 20-10-3 49 19
14 12 CGY 52 0.520 85 48 20-9-3 50 18
15 15 EDM 38 0.396 65 58 27-4-3 48 14

 

Ignore the fact that the Kings currently sit in 11th place. Focus on this: there are seven teams in the blue box ahead of the Kings. Four of them can only afford 12 losses and 3 OTSOLs if they want to get to 94, and three (four if you count the Kings) can only afford 11 losses and 3 OTSOLs. That's a total of eight teams separated by 5 points (ESPN standings) 2 points-blown (my standings) or one measly (budgeted, future) loss. 

In other words, it's tight. All the Kings have to do is keep playing like they deserve to be in the playoffs, and -- voila -- they will be in the playoffs. And if they don't play like it, they don't deserve it anyway. 

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