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The First Actual Battle of California?

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San Jose, Anaheim and  Los Angeles currently occupy spots 5, 6 and 8 in the west, separated by 2 points top to bottom. As we all know, the Kings and Ducks have never qualified for the playoffs at the same time. Even if they do all make the post-season, they would have to make it to the second round in order to play each other (unless one of them overtakes the Stars and grabs the 3rd seed). Regardless, it looks to me like the first actual Battle of California will take place the last week of the season. 

3/24 SJS LAK
4/2 ANA SJS
4/4 LAK SJS
4/6 SJS ANA
4/8 ANA LAK
4/9 LAK ANA

In the last two weeks, each team plays the other two twice. Five of those games happen in the last week. If we consider PHX, COL, DAL, CHI, CGY and NAS the other teams in this dogfight, it gets even crazier, since everyone is playing everyone else. It's probable that someone will drop out of the race by then, but if not, it's going to be two weeks of all-out warfare. And it will look like this:

(forgive colormania)

3/23 ANA DAL
3/23 CGY SJS
3/24 SJS LAK
3/24 ANA NAS
3/26 SJS PHX
3/26 COL LAK
3/26 DAL NAS
3/26 ANA CHI
3/28 COL ANA
3/29 DAL PHX
3/30 ANA CGY
3/31 DAL SJS
3/31 NAS COL
4/1 COL PHX
4/2 ANA SJS
4/2 DAL LAK
4/3 DAL ANA
4/3 CGY COL
4/4 LAK SJS
4/6 SJS ANA
4/6 PHX LAK
4/7 COL DAL
4/8 ANA LAK
4/8 SJS PHX
4/8 DAL COL
4/9 LAK ANA
4/9 PHX SJS
4/10 DAL MIN

Okay, that hurts my eyes and my brain. I'm going to whittle it down. Here is a breakdown of how many times each team appears on that filtered schedule (i.e. plays someone they're fighting for a playoff spot):

10 ANA
9 DAL
9 SJS
7 COL
7 LAK
6 PHX
3 CGY
3 NAS
1 CHI
1 MIN

So, lopping off the four bottom teams, we get:

3/23 ANA DAL
3/24 SJS LAK
3/26 SJS PHX
3/26 COL LAK
3/28 COL ANA
3/29 DAL PHX
3/31 DAL SJS
4/1 COL PHX
4/2 ANA SJS
4/2 DAL LAK
4/3 DAL ANA
4/4 LAK SJS
4/6 SJS ANA
4/6 PHX LAK
4/7 COL DAL
4/8 ANA LAK
4/8 SJS PHX
4/8 DAL COL
4/9 LAK ANA
4/9 PHX SJS

And, hey, look at that. It's the Pacific Division plus the Avs. Those schedule makers aren't total idiots after all. 

In case the point has been lost in all of my coloring and rambling, it's this: in the last two weeks of the season, the Kings, Ducks, Sharks, Stars, Yotes and Avs will each have about half a dozen chances to ruin the others' lives