But first, the good and the bad from the last two nights:
The Good: Kings win, Avs lose, Preds lose, Blues lose, Sharks half-lose, Jackets lose, Coyotes lose, Hawks lose.
The Bad: Flames win, Coyotes win, Ducks win, Wild win.
That's a great pair of days for LA. The Kings win, plus 6.5 good vs 4 bad outcomes.
The real Western Conference standings:
How to decode the standings:
Q is my rank, sorted by win percentage. Off. is the official standings (as rendered by ESPN). PRJ is projected final points. PB is points-blown (two points for a loss, one point for an OTSOL; lower score is better). TO94 is the record needed to get to 94 points (the presumed -- by me -- playoff threshold). GP is games played. W is wins.
I added two new columns (actually they're old columns I deleted for awhile and are now back in a new form). W%* is the team's win percentage if there was no Bettman point, no point for losing in OT/SO. Q* is the rank a team would have with that W%*.
I include it because I noticed last night that the Kings, eliminating the Bettman point, leap from 11th to 4th. The Coyotes suffer a huge drop. Everyone else stays in the same neighborhood.
Some other observations:
- Since Calgary continues to win and Nashville continues to lose, I had to add them to the "blue box," which is my way of indicating the teams fighting it out for the last (now) 5 playoff spots. We were looking only at 5-8, but 4th is now in play.
- Seven of those eleven teams are within one (budgeted, future) loss of each other.
- 4th and 14th are separated by 9 points, 7 points-blown, and 4 (budgeted, future) losses.
- The Kings are, no matter how you slice it, no more than a point out of 8th place.
- By one of my previous yardsticks (the one which determines whether or not the Kings should be sellers at the deadline), the Kings now need a record of 6-5-1. But better is better, since 6-5-1 before the deadline would require 13-7 to close out the season. I would love for the Kings to put together an 8-3-1 stretch going up to the deadline, lessening the post-deadline burden to 11-9. But that's just me. The Kings have put themselves in an exponentially better place by winning these last three.