Thursday's Games: Kings do their best to keep it interesting (standings update)

The Good: Flames lose, Yotes half-lose, Hawks lose,

The Bad: Kings lose, Preds win, Sharks win.

Also: Stars lose.


  • Kings blew a chance to pick up a point against Phoenix. I'm going to pretend that's okay, for now. Phoenix has a tough schedule. They should lose a few more.
  • Calgary made it harder on themselves. They now have eight games to do six or seven points better than the Wings or Nashville. For example, if the Wings go 4-5-0, the Flames have to go 6-1-1. If the Wings go 5-4-0, the Flames have to go 7-0-1.
  • The Stars are out. Cross them off.***/

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 45 (1) +11
  2. San Jose Sharks 48 (2) +8
  3. Vancouver Canucks 54 (3) +2 [1st in div.]
  4. Phoenix Coyotes 50 (4) +6
  5. Los Angeles Kings 56 (6) --
  6. Colorado Avalanche 57 (7) -1
  7. Nashville Predators 59 (5) -3
  8. Detroit Red Wings 59 (8) -3
  9. Calgary Flames 65 (9) -9
  10. St. Louis Blues 69 (10) -13
  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 0-7-1
  5. Los Angeles Kings 2-6-1
  6. Colorado Avalanche 3-6-0
  7. Nashville Predators 2-5-0
  8. Detroit Red Wings 4-5-0
  9. Calgary Flames 6-2-0
  10. St. Louis Blues 8-0-0
  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. They can lose the rest of their games now, and should, if they want to avoid Detroit in the first round.

***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. For example, if Minnesota finishes with 93, they will have only about a 16% chance of making it -- yes, better than nothing, but not really, if you factor in the odds of them not losing another game, which are less than 1:1000.  If Dallas makes it to 93, they have only a 5% shot (and it would take 7-0-1 to get there; odds of that happening: 2% -- so that's a 1 in 50 shot at getting to a place where they have a 1 in 20 shot; which is a 1 in a 1000 shot); Anaheim would have a 10% shot. At 94 points, the odds go up for those teams to around 20-33%, still not likely. At 95 points, it starts to be very likely that you'll make it. For the Kings (which is my focus), their odds are around 93% at that point total. And the odds of the Kings getting to that total are higher than 99%.