The 95 point threshold - who can still get there?
The Good: Kings win, Avs half-lose.
The Bad: Kings let Avs get away with a loser point, Wings win.
- Kings are five behind SJS, four behind PHX, and four ahead of both NAS and COL.
- The Kings have games in hand on everybody but Chicago.
- They need three more wins to get to 95 points, which still looks like the safest benchmark to aim for. 94 points gives them a 75% chance, 93 is below 50%, and 92 is a long-shot. For Calgary, they might even need 96 points. For Detroit, 94 is probably enough. But I only care about the Kings. 95 points. Six points to go.
The franchise single season wins record is 46 (1990-91), so they need 5 more to top that. At 42 wins, that's already 7th in franchise history.
The franchise single season point record is 105 (1974-75). To top that, they would need to go 8-2-1 in their last 11 games, which sounds, um, unlikely to me. In '75, the Kings went 6-3-2 in their last eleven (they were at 91 points with eleven games left; this year's model is at 89).
Next up for the Kings: COL, STL, DAL, MIN, NAS. I for one am glad four of those are road games and the first two and last two are back-to-back. Not much time to think. Go 3-2-0 over that stretch, and we'll be at 95 with six games left and everybody can exhale.
Tomorrow night has some big games: DAL/NAS (a Stars loss dooms them; Preds loss drops them into a tie with the Wings), SJS/MIN (a Sharks loss puts the Yotes ahead of them for real; a Wild loss dooms them), PHX/CHI (a Yotes loss brings the Kings to within 2 points of them), ANA/CGY (a Ducks loss all but screws them into the ground; a Flames loss puts them in a position of having to close out 8-2-0).
- STL, MIN, DAL and ANA could all be out of it by the weekend, leaving only Calgary with a shot of catching Detroit. (I'm not talking absolute mathematical elimination -- I am only concerned with a team's ability to get to 95.) /
Here are the standings* (if you haven't seen my version of standings before, scroll to the bottom for the explanation):
- Chicago Blackhawks 45 (1) +8
- San Jose Sharks 48 (4) +5
- Vancouver Canucks 52 (3) +1
- Phoenix Coyotes 49 (2) +4
- Los Angeles Kings 53 (5) --
- Nashville Predators 57 (6) -4
- Colorado Avalanche 57 (7) -4
- Detroit Red Wings 59 (8) -6
- Calgary Flames 63 (9) -10
- Anaheim Ducks 66 (11) -13
- St. Louis Blues 67 (10) -14
- Minnesota Wild 68 (12) -15
- Dallas Stars 68 (13) -15
Columbus Blue Jackets Edmonton Oilers
And here's the record each team needs from here on, to get to the assumed (by me) magical point total of 95:
- Chicago Blackhawks**
- San Jose Sharks**
- Phoenix Coyotes**
- Vancouver Canucks 1-8-1
- Nashville Predators 2-6-0
- Los Angeles Kings 3-8-0
- Colorado Avalanche 4-6-0
- Detroit Red Wings 5-5-0
- Calgary Flames 7-3-0
- St. Louis Blues 9-1-0
- Anaheim Ducks 9-1-1
- Dallas Stars 9-0-1
- Minnesota Wild 9-0-1
- 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. They can lose the rest of their games now, and should, if they want to avoid Detroit in the first round.