The Good: CGY, DAL, STL and NAS lost.
The Bad: SJS, MIN, PHX and CBJ won.
The Doesn't Matter: VAN is losing as I type this, but it doesn't matter either way.
- LAK @ ANA -- the first of four remaining games with the Ducks. As the two teams are tied at 68 points, and as it's fairly unlikely that both teams will make the playoffs (and not just because it's never happened), consider this game GAME ONE OF ROUND ZERO.
- SJS @ PIT -- Go Pens.
- PHX @ TBL -- Go Lightning.
Now, the updated standings:
Click on the column headers to sort.
KEY: Q is my standings, default sorted by points-blown (explanation of points-blown here). NHL is the official standings, via NHL.COM. PRJ is projected point total for 82 games. PB is points-blown. +/- is the distance in points-blown above or below the 8th seed. TO 95 is the record needed to get to the presumed (by me) playoff-threshold. GR is games-remaining. W! is wins plus OT wins (the first tie-breaker). R, OT and SO are regulation, over-time and shoot-out, and W and L after each indicates wins and losses for each of those three categories (e.g. R:W is regulation wins, OT:W is over-time wins, etc.).
- The above numbers do not reflect the VAN loss in progress.
- I forgot to mention, the Kings are now done playing Eastern Conference teams. From now on, it's 100% in-conference.
- The CGY and STL losses put a little more room between the Kings and the teams chasing them.
- The NAS loss drops them down into a three-way points-blown tie for 5th.
- In the official standings, the Kings are in a four-way tie for 7th.
- The Kings are only three points-blown out of first in the Pacific. Given the schedules of the 11 teams fighting for 3-8, it's perfectly reasonable for the Kings to shoot for 1st in the Pacific, 3rd in the conference.
- Five points-blown separate 3rd from 11th.
- Dallas has 18 games remaining against the ten teams it's fighting for one of those spots.
- The Kings, San Jose and Anaheim each have 16.
- The Coyotes have 15, St. Louis and Calgary 14, Columbus 12, Nashville 11, Minnesota and Chicago 10.
- What I'm saying is, that's a total of 76 games these eleven teams play each other over the next 6 or 7 weeks. I like to think of that as somewhere between 76 and 152 points that teams aren't going to get. This is why 95 is still a good bet for the playoff threshold; these teams are going to be beating the crap out of each other.
- The Kings have the most games left to play of anyone in the conference...
- ...but they're hurting in terms of the first tie-breaker, WINS PLUS OT WINS. They aren't going to catch SJS or PHX, but they should be able to (and had better) catch ANA, DAL, CBJ and CHI.