Thursday Lunch Special: Yesterday, Today, the Real Standings
Last Night's Results
The Good: Kings won, Ducks lost, Coyotes lost.
The Bad: Sharks won.
MIN @ LAK - The Kings and Wild are tied in every way, except MIN has a crucial four W/OTW lead over the Kings, and it would be a good idea to close that gap, since it's the first tie-breaker. GO KINGS in regulation.
DAL @ DET - I would like everyone to bury the Stars now, kick them while they're down. Might make the last couple weeks of the season a lot less interesting (10 way tie for 4th is not out of the question yet), but it will make this weekend more fun (Trade Deadline is Monday). Go Wings.
CHI @ NAS - I'm torn. Whatever happens, end it in regulation. I guess I would rather the Hawks lose. The more distance between the Kings and the Hawks, the better we'll all sleep. NAS has a supernatural ability to sneak into the bottom four seeds, so today I'm embracing it.
Now, the updated standings:
Click on the headers to sort.
KEY: Q is my standings, default sorted by points-blown (explanation of points-blown here). NHL is the official standings, via NHL.COM. PRJ is projected point total for 82 games. PB is points-blown. +/- is the distance in points-blown above or below the 8th seed. TO 95 is the record needed to get to the presumed (by me) playoff-threshold. GR is games-remaining. W! is wins plus OT wins (the first tie-breaker). R, OT and SO are regulation, over-time and shoot-out, and W and L after each indicates wins and losses for each of those three categories (e.g. R:W is regulation wins, OT:W is over-time wins, etc.).
- The big difference between the points-blown standings and the official standings is that the Hawks, Stars and Blue Jackets are all in better shape (according to me) and the Ducks and (especially) the Flames are in worse shape (according to me) than the official standings indicate.
- The Kings are 6 official points out of first in the Pacific, but only two points-blown out. That's because San Jose has played two more games.
- The official standings show a significant gap between SJS and PHX (76, 75 points) and MIN, LAK, NAS, CGY (all at 70). However, SJS and PHX have played two more games than MIN, NAS and LAK, so in reality the gap is very small.
- In points-blown, we're still looking at eight teams separated by 4 points, 10 teams separated by 6 points.
- Six teams (5th through 10th) need records ranging from 11-8-3 to 13-7-3 to get to the playoff threshold of 95 points. That's a difference of one loss separating those teams, at most.
- In other words, we're still looking at a situation where -- for MIN, LAK, NAS, CHI, DAL and CBJ -- the season may as well start today. Play 3 to 5 games above .500 (varies by club) you're in; worse than that, sorry.
- SJS and PHX have a leg up on those teams, amounting to no more than 2 points.
- CGY and ANA have a leg "down" on those teams, amounting to no more than 2 points.
- I just noticed that the current top eight teams (according to me) are all above .500 in regulation, and the rest of the teams are at .500 or below. That's encouraging, in the sense that it seems fair.
- The Blues and Avs are all but eliminated. The odds of the Blues going 15-6-2 to close out the season are about nil. But everybody else has a good healthy shot. Scoreboard watchers rejoice.