How I Think This Will All Play Out

Colorado Avalanche

Tough opponents: NJD, NYR, CGY, PHX, VAN, SJS, VAN, CGY, NAS

Less tough: CBJ

If they're lucky, they'll manage 3-3-3 out of the nine tough games, and 1-0 out of the easier game. That's 11 more points. They'll end up with 91.

Chicago Blackhawks

Tough: DAL, VAN, NAS, NJD, STL, NAS, DET.

Less tough: WAS, CBJ, MIN, MIN.

If they're lucky, they'll manage 4-2-1 out of the seven tough games, and 2-1-1 out of the easier ones. Fourteen more points. They'll end up with 98.

Dallas Stars

Tough: CHI, PHX, VAN, CGY, CGY, VAN, SJS, SJS, NAS, STL.

Less tough: EDM.

They've been on a tear, but they'll be lucky to get 10 points out of their ten tough games. Say they beat Edmonton. That's 12 more points. Bringing them to 95.

Phoenix Coyotes

Tough: CGY, DAL, COL, SJS, NAS, SJS, ANA, STL.

Less tough: EDM, CBJ, MIN.

I feel like the Coyotes will fare well in these games. I think they'll manage 12 points out of the tough games (5-2-1?), and 4 out of the less tough ones. That's 16 more points. 97 total.

Calgary Flames

Tough: PHX, COL, DAL, DAL, LAK, COL, VAN, VAN, ANA.

Less tough: EDM, CBJ, MIN.

The Flames play a lot of games against teams in the log-jam. They're playing well, but I doubt they'll get more than nine points out of the nine tough games. Okay, maybe 11 points. Plus 4 from the easier games. That puts them at 93.

San Jose Sharks

Tough: NAS, DET, ANA, LAK, BOS, PHX, COL, ANA, PHX, DAL, DAL, LAK, LAK.

Less tough:

San Jose is not playing well and all of their games are tough. I would be shocked if they got even half the possible points out of those games. I'm thinking more like 11 or 12. 5-6-2? Something like that. 90 points, finally.

They're screwed, I think.

Los Angeles Kings

Tough: ANA, NAS, SJS, STL, BOS, VAN, CGY, SJS, SJS.

Less tough: EDM, MIN, EDM.

I'm think they'll get 12 points out of the 9 tough games, but let's be more conservative and say 9 points. And 4 points out of the easier games. 13 points? 91 in total?

Final Logjam Standings (Kings get 13 points):

  • 1. St. Louis
  • 2. Vancouver
  • 3. Phoenix 97 (wins Pacific)
  • 4/5. Detroit/Nashville
  • 6. Chicago 98
  • 7. Dallas 95
  • 8. Calgary 93
  • 9. Colorado 91
  • 10. Los Angeles 91
  • 11. San Jose 90

Final Logjam Standings (Kings get 16 points)

  • 1. St. Louis
  • 2. Vancouver
  • 3. Phoenix 97 (wins Pacific)
  • 4/5. Detroit/Nashville
  • 6. Chicago 98
  • 7. Dallas 95
  • 8. Los Angeles 94
  • 9. Calgary 93
  • 10. Colorado 91
  • 11. San Jose 90

If

If the Kings end up tied with Calgary, it's not good. The Flames have two more ROWs than the Kings. The Kings have to hope the Flames start winning in SOs. The Kings have to beat Calgary in their remaining game (which means the Kings would win the season series). Otherwise, I don't think 93 points will be good enough for LA.

However

However, if you look at Calgary's schedule: the weekend before the final weekend, the Flames have back-to-backs against the Avs and Canucks. Then they have four days with no hockey -- Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday -- in which they get to sit at home and watch everyone else pass them by. Then they finish the season with Vancouver and, on the afternoon of the last day of the season: Anaheim. A pissed off Anaheim that will not have gone 12-0 to finish the season so they won't be in the playoffs.

That night, the very last game of the entire NHL schedule, is LA at San Jose.

My point is

One way to look at the Kings' chances is: you have to be optimistic to think they'll get to 94 points, so it's reasonable to think they won't make it. But if you're Calgary, you'd better get your points before the last week, because if you need to win most of those games against Colorado, Vancouver, Vancouver and Anaheim, you're in trouble.

Bottom line

It will probably come down to the last day of the season, with Calgary needing to beat Anaheim, and the Kings needing to beat the Sharks. Maybe the Sharks can get in if they win that game. Either way, it's going to be close.

(I also think Phoenix and Dallas will be deciding who wins the Pacific on the last day, but really who cares?)

I do think the Kings will get to 94. But I'm a homer optimistic by nature. So factor that in.

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