Kings Fans' Guide to Not Freaking Out (The Real Western Conference Standings)

WASHINGTON DC - FEBRUARY 12: "Quisp says it's only going to take 94 points to make the playoffs." "No, he says 95 now." "F***ing h***!" (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

The Kings are 6-0-2 in their last eight games, which is of course reason for much rejoicing. I've detected, in the commentosphere, a certain frustration -- actually, Jim Fox even voiced this last night after the game -- that with so many teams in action last night, the Kings were going to lose ground in the playoff race yet again, despite their current run. 

Don't fall for this. 

Here's how to cut some money from your Tums budget. Don't look at the official standings. Look only at points-blown.

Q OFF.   PTS W% PRJ PB +/- to95 GR R/OTW R/OT/SO
1 1 VAN 81 0.7232 118.6 31 16 6-18-2 26 34 32-11/2-4/2-5
2 2 DET 70 0.6481 106.3 38 9 11-14-3 28 30 23-16/7-4/2-2
3 3 DAL 68 0.6182 101.4 42 5 12-12-3 27 26 22-18/4-2/5-4
4 4 NAS 67 0.5982 98.1 45 2 13-11-2 26 24 24-19/0-4/6-3
5 8 MIN 65 0.5909 96.9 45 2 14-11-2 27 28 24-20/4-1/2-4
6 7 SJS 66 0.5893 96.6 46 1 13-10-3 26 27 25-20/2-4/3-2
7 6 ANA 66 0.5893 96.6 46 1 13-10-3 26 27 24-21/3-2/4-2
8 5 PHX 67 0.5877 96.4 47 0 13-10-2 25 26 25-19/1-6/3-3
9 10 LAK 63 0.5727 93.9 47 0 15-10-2 27 24 23-22/1-2/6-1
10 11 CHI 62 0.5536 90.8 50 -3 15-8-3 26 25 23-22/2-2/3-4
11 12 CBJ 59 0.5364 88.0 51 -4 17-8-2 27 23 19-23/4-3/4-2
12 13 STL 57 0.5278 86.6 51 -4 18-8-2 28 21 19-21/2-4/3-5
13 9 CGY 64 0.5517 90.5 52 -5 14-7-3 24 22 20-22/2-3/6-5
14 14 COL 56 0.5000 82.0 56 -9 18-5-3 26 22 17-25/5-6/3-0
15 15 EDM 40 0.3636 59.6 70 -23 n/a 27 15 13-31/2-1/1-7

My points-blown explanation is here. All I will add to it is that, as points-blown is tied to games-played, it all evens out in the end (since we all play 82 games). NSH, MIN, SJS, ANA, PHX and LAK all have 45-47 points-blown. They are all, within the margin of error, tied. Look at the records each of these teams needs to get to 95 points. 13-11-2 at the top, 15-10-2 at the bottom. And the Kings play those teams 10 times in their remaining 27 games. So, really, it's okay. 

And if you don't believe me, just focus on this: 15-10-2. That's the record the Kings are very likely to need to get into the playoffs.  [OH. FAIRLY BIG NOTE: I CHANGED THE PRESUMED PLAYOFF THRESHOLD TO 95 POINTS, UP FROM 94. That's because I use Sportsclubstats.com's 100,000,000 daily simulations to find the number where the Kings have a 90% or better chance of making the playoffs. The 90% threshold had been crossed between 93 and 94 points. Now it's between 94 and 95 points. In the simulations, in which the outcomes of games are decided by a virtual coin-flip, the Kings make the playoffs at 95 points 95.5% of the time. It's somewhere in the 80s at 94 points, and below that you take your life into your own hands.]

So, seriously, watch the scoreboard, but -- for your sanity -- focus on rooting for the Kings to win and our immediate rivals to lose in regulation. I personally feel comfortable rooting for VAN, DET, DAL and COL to win at the expense of everyone else but us. Though it's entirely possible DAL will come back into the pack and then we can re-evaluate (same with COL, if they start to look like they're going to turn it around -- which at this point seems unlikely).

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