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Thursday's Results and What They Mean

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The Good: Kings win, Canucks lose.

The Bad: Wings win, Preds win.

Etc.: Blues lose.

As a result...

  • The Blues' loss means they can't get to 95. According to me, they're done. Cross them off. Officially, they're still alive (all they have to do is go 5-0-0 and hope the Avs can only get three points or less out of their last six games, while also leap-frogging Calgary -- like I said, they're done; but if you prefer to keep them alive in your mind, go right ahead.) 
  • The Preds' win gets them to 96 points. I'm calling that one, too. They're in. Yes, it's true; if they lose their last three while Calgary goes 5-0, the Preds are out. This is like calling California for Obama (not, oh, Florida for Gore). Count the Preds in.
  • The actual (Hammond) magic number for the Kings is 3, unless they plan on doing it entirely with OTL/SOL points, in which case, it's 4. Magic number = number of Kings points in remaining games + number of Calgary points-blown. Kings are 5 wins ahead of the Flames, so if Calgary wins their last five, the Kings would need a win and a loser-point, or four loser-points, or two wins. In other words, they are very likely to need only one more point, unless you think Calgary is not going to lose anymore (they play COL, CHI, SJS, MIN, 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):

  1. Chicago Blackhawks 49 (2) +11
  2. San Jose Sharks 50 (1) +10
  3. Vancouver Canucks 58 (3) +2 [1st in div.]
  4. Phoenix Coyotes 56 (4) +4
  5. Detroit Red Wings 59 (6) +1
  6. Los Angeles Kings 60 (7) --
  7. Nashville Predators 62 (5) -2
  8. Colorado Avalanche 63 (8) -3
  9. Calgary Flames 67 (9) -7
  10. St. Louis Blues
  11. Dallas Stars
  12. Anaheim Ducks
  13. Minnesota Wild
  14. Columbus Blue Jackets
  15. Edmonton Oilers
And here's the record each team needs from here on, to get to the assumed magical (official) point total of 95***:
  1. Chicago Blackhawks**
  2. San Jose Sharks**
  3. Phoenix Coyotes**
  4. Vancouver Canucks**
  5. Nashville Predators**
  6. Detroit Red Wings 0-5-0
  7. Los Angeles Kings 0-4-1
  8. Colorado Avalanche 3-3-0
  9. Calgary Flames 4-1-0
  10. St. Louis Blues
  11. Dallas Stars
  12. Anaheim Ducks
  13. Minnesota Wild
  14. Columbus Blue Jackets
  15. 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.