PHILADELPHIA - FEBRUARY 13: Jarret Stoll #28 of the Los Angeles Kings checking Chris Pronger #20 of the Philadelphia Flyers on February 13 2011 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. (Photo by Lou Capozzola/Getty Images)
First, thoughts on the game:
- I'm going to go a little against the grain and say that today's game could easily have gone either way. The Flyers had the post on their first shot and several other very scrambly crowded-crease moments. The Kings had Kopitar's post, Simmonds's breakaway and a few others (Ponikarovsky's cut to the middle). The Kings have lost several of these games this year. It was about time one went their way. I'm not taking anything away from them. It's just that sometimes you play a great game and lose anyway. (That's when Murray says he likes what he sees and everyone wants to fire him.)
- Another thing compounding the feeling that we dodged a bullet: two too-many-men penalties.
- Shutting out the Flyers AND winning both fights in Philly is especially delightful.
- Westgarth's grab-hand assault was eye-opening. And I thought Kyle Clifford destroyed Daniel Carcillo. But I'm biased.
- I wouldn't be surprised if Stoll gets a game suspension for the Pronger hit.
Key to the standings: Q is my standings, ranked by points-blown. OFF is the official standings (via ESPN). PRJ is projected final point total. PB is points-blown. +/- is points-blown above or below the 8th seed. TO95 is the record each team needs to get to 95 points (the newly-adjusted best guess threshold for making the playoffs). GR is games-remaining. R/OTW is regulation and OT wins (the first tiebreaker). R/OT/SO is the team's record broken down by wins and losses in each of regulation, overtime, and shoot-out.
- The best EDM can do is 92 points. They are eliminated.
- Unless you think COL is going to end the season with an 18-5-3 run, they're done, too.
- The eleven teams from 3rd to 13th are still in play. That's six playoff spots for eleven teams that are currently separated by 8 points-blown or 11 official points. STL is 11 points behind DAL, but STL has two games in hand.
- I really don't think DAL (currently 3rd) has a significantly better chance of making the playoffs than CGY (currently 13th).
- Everyone is sufficiently bunched together that I'm going to start running the season-series chart more often. Here it is, with a couple of added columns: W+/- shows the difference between the Kings' R/OTW from the above chart, and the R/OTW of the team in question (this is the first tie-breaker); the second new column is GD, which shows the difference between the Kings' goal differential and that of the team in question (this is the third tie-breaker -- I resist calling it goal-differential-differential). The second tie-breaker is head-to-head, or season series (unless it's a three or more-way tie, in which case it's the records of all the tied teams against each other, which is beyond the scope of this chart).
- The chart is sorted in order of tie-breakers, first by W+/-, second by SS, third by GD.
- The boxes to the right of each team contain a value (2, 1, -1, -2) for each game against the Kings. The 1 and -1 values are for games the Kings either win or lose in OT/SO (since the series is a tally of the points the teams earned in head-to-head competition, an OT victory against a team is a net gain of only 1 point, when compared to the point tally of that same team).
- The Kings rock in GD, trouncing everyone they might ever be tied with. Too bad goal-differential isn't the first tie-breaker.
- The Kings have already lost the season series against STL and CHI.
- The rest of the season series are very much up for grabs.