…in the Tavares Sweepstakes, that is.
FLA @ ATL [ATL wins by losing, booo!]
DAL @ COL [DAL loses by winning, yay!]
LOS @ VAN [LA wins by losing, yay!]
PHX @ SJS [PHX loses by winning, yay!]
DAL @ ANA
SJS @ LOS
OTT @ TOR
TBL @ ATL
ANA @ PHX
4. ATL (74) – plays FLA and TBL With ATL’s loss, the Kings can’t “catch” them.
5. LOS (77) – plays VAN and SJS
6. PHX (77) – plays SJS and ANA
7. TOR (79) – plays OTT
8. DAL (80) – plays COL and ANA DAL beats COL and now they can’t “catch” the Kings.
Schadenfreude bonus: if Anaheim loses those two games against PHX and DAL, they will likely miss the playoffs, making those two games the most important Kings games in the remaining season.
The lowest the Kings will pick in June is 9th 8th (8th 7th finish and then drop one due to lottery). The highest is #1 (4th or 5th finish plus lottery win). My prediction is the Kings get two points out of the last two games, finishing at 79 [UPDATE: maybe not]; ATL wins one, finishing at 76; PHX wins one, finishing at 77. TOR loses, finishing at 79. DAL wins two, finishing at 84. Kings and Toronto finish tied at 79, but Toronto “wins” (i.e. loses) the tiebreaker (most wins), so the final standings will be: (4)ATL, (5)PHX, (6)TOR, (7)LA, (8)DAL. Kings pick seventh. Anaheim misses the playoffs.
However, it’s not out of the question that the Kings could lose the last two [UPDATE: only one to go!] and end up tied with Phoenix. Kings “win” (i.e. lose) that tiebreaker and would then pick 5th.
[FINAL UPDATE: after tonight's games, the Kings are in "5th," with no possibility of moving up, but a chance they might drop as many as two spots to 7th.]