Statistical models show all sorts of different odds for the Kings going on a—let’s face it—miraculous run and make it into the playoffs. With these models being adjusted on a daily basis, the Kings’ chances have fluctuated big time in response to what they’re doing on the ice, and, of course, in response to what the rest of the West is doing.
The St. Louis Blues, at one point at the bottom of the conference with the Kings, have gone on a tear since recalling seemingly forgotten goalie prospect Jordan Binnington. They’ve won 11 straight and are not only out of the bottom-of-the-league shame hole, but have laid claim to the number three spot in the Central. The Chicago Blackhawks are finding ways to win games, despite what every advanced statistic says, and are just one point back from the second wild card spot in the West. (They’re tied with three other teams right now.)
The Wild lose again. If the Blackhawks win tomorrow in Detroit, and the Avs lose to the Jets, the Blackhawks will be in a playoff spot. Just as we all predicted back in December.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) February 20, 2019
The Ducks have won two in a row and aren’t quite ready to capitulate for the sake of the tank quite yet. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Wild’s GM is talking about crying himself to sleep, the previously formidable Colorado Avalanche have won just two of their last 10, and Edmonton is ... well, Edmonton.
Fenton on 1-5-3 month: "It hasn’t been a lot of fun trying to go to sleep at night. When I do go to sleep, I find myself crying like a baby."— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) February 20, 2019
While teams like San Jose, Nashville, and Calgary are all safe in their playoff ambitions, much of the West is truly up for grabs. So where does this leave the Kings? Well, it depends on which statistical model you use.
Analyst Micah Blake McCurdy gives the Kings a 2% chance of making the playoffs, down from 7% during that brief but entertaining winning streak out on the east coast.
Playoff chances, West and East. pic.twitter.com/t7yRBhYx92— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) February 19, 2019
Moneypuck gives the Kings a 1.47% chance of making the playoffs—and a 10.8% chance of winning the draft lottery. (That puts them second, behind Ottawa-which-is-really-Colorado.)
Perhaps the bleakest—if you’re in the “but the playoffs would be fun” camp—projection of them all comes from The Athletic’s Dom Luszczyszyn, who gives the Kings a ... wait for it ... 0.4% chance of making the playoffs.
So you’re saying there’s a chance?
Technically, yes. But maybe don’t go getting your hopes up for that miracle.
The Ontario Reign, running low on defenseman after Matt Roy’s recall to the NHL, signed Cliff Watson to a PTO. [Reign Insider]
Not entirely hockey-related, but many sports journalists make the jump to reporting on national news. Turns out sportswriting prepares you pretty well for the chaos of national and international politics. [Washington City Paper]
Sisters Greta and Sophie Skarzynski didn’t think they’d ever get to play against each other in college. This year’s schedule changed that. [The Gopher Hockey Blog]
A little over six months after his accidental death, a look at what really happened to Ray Emery. [The Athletic]
R. Renee Hess, creator of the Black Girl Hockey Club, speaks about why her group is needed in the hockey community. [PuckerUp Sports]
The Ducks will eventually need a real coach. Who’s it going to be? [Anaheim Calling]
Ann Sophie Bettez and Jamie Lee Rattray got the chance to show they have what it takes to hang with Team Canada during the rivalry series. Was it enough? [The Ice Garden]
Jake Guentzel is more than just a guy who plays next to Sidney Crosby. [PensBurgh]
Yes, yes, we all could have had Nikita Kucherov. [Raw Charge]
A day in the life of Tera Black, the COO of the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers, and the only female COO in minor hockey. [Charlotte Agenda]
Look who’s back on the ice:
Your Semi-Regular Check-In On Justin Williams
Just taking a look at TOI and such. Justin Williams is out here logging 21+ at 37 years old and looking like the best player on the ice at times— Sara Civ (@SaraCivian) February 20, 2019
Imagine Justin Williams doing stuff like that pic.twitter.com/MTBnxlZP1g— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) February 17, 2019