The Good: Avs lose, Yotes lose.
The Bad: Flames win.
The sorry, not relevant: Hawks beat Wild, Stars beat Sharks, Ducks win.
As a result...
- Kings' lead over the Avs increases to 3.
- Kings are only 4 points behind the Coyotes, in my version of the standings (*see below); if you prefer the official version, they're 8 points back with 2 games in hand.
- Calgary is sneaking up on Colorado. The Flames play the Avs on Friday. Then the Flames play CHI and SJS, while the Avs move on to SJS and VAN. The Kings, over the same period, play VAN and back-to-back Ducks.
- The Avs have more wins than the Flames, and have won the season series already.
- The Kings also will prevail over Calgary in a tie-breaker.
- A Kings/Avs tie is still up for grabs though. They could end up with the same number of wins. And head-to-head, the Kings are up 4 points to 3, with one (big) game left.
- The Rich Hammond magic number is 5 (meaning any combination of Kings points and Flames blown-points). Hopefully, the Avs beat the Flames on Friday. Yeah, I know; hard to know who to root for; I'm going with whatever gets the Kings into the post-season faster. We can work out the brackets later (say, at the upcoming Kings/Avs game).
- Tomorrow's big games: NSH/STL, DET/CBJ and of course LAK/VAN.
Here are the standings in points-blown* (if you haven't seen my version of standings before, scroll to the bottom for the explanation):
- Chicago Blackhawks 49 (2) +11
- San Jose Sharks 50 (1) +10
Vancouver Canucks 56 (3) +4 [1st in div.]
- Phoenix Coyotes 56 (4) +4
- Detroit Red Wings 59 (6) +1
- Los Angeles Kings 60 (7) --
- Nashville Predators 62 (5) -2
- Colorado Avalanche 63 (8) -3
- Calgary Flames 67 (9) -7
- St. Louis Blues 69 (10) -9
Anaheim Ducks Minnesota Wild
Columbus Blue Jackets Edmonton Oilers
And here's the record each team needs from here on, to get to the assumed magical (official) point total of 95***:
- Chicago Blackhawks**
- San Jose Sharks**
- Phoenix Coyotes**
- Vancouver Canucks**
- Nashville Predators 0-3-1
- Detroit Red Wings 1-5-0
- Los Angeles Kings 1-4-1
- Colorado Avalanche 3-3-0
- Calgary Flames 4-1-0
- St. Louis Blues 6-0-0
Dallas Stars Anaheim Ducks Minnesota Wild Columbus Blue Jackets Edmonton Oilers
*standings in points-blown explained: "points blown" means, literally, how many points your team could have had, but squandered; a loss is 2 blown points, a "half-loss" (OTL/SOL) is one blown point, a win is zero blown points. The resulting standings are golf-like, the fewer blown points the better. Two points "awarded" for every loss, one point for every OTL/SOL. Again, lowest point total is best. Number in parentheses is the official standings (via ESPN). Last number (+/-) is number of points (in my system) ahead or behind Los Angeles. Because it's a Kings-centric universe.
**already hit 95 points.
***95 points is the likely playoff threshold. It might end up being 94 or 96.
93 is unlikely to be enough for the teams currently on the outside looking in. At this point, if Calgary gets 95 points, there's only a 1:3 chance of that being good enough.