Everyone has either 14 or 15 games left, except for CBJ, which has 13.
The Kings have 15.
54 points still appears to be the playoff threshold. At that point, the odds are 90% or better for nearly everyone in the West.
At 53, odds drop to roughly 75% for everyone.
At 52, it’s 50%.
At 51, slim to none.
The Kings are in a pretty cushy spot in terms of tie-breakers. They have the second most ROWs, tied with Anaheim and behind only Chicago. The teams the Kings could conceivably end up tied with all have 3-7 fewer ROWs.
The only season series the Kings have lost is with the Canucks.
The Kings are third in the West in goal-differential.
Even if Chicago were to lose every remaining game, they would still have about a 50:50 shot of making the playoffs. Anaheim is right behind them.
It’s not even worth wishing for Anaheim to lose at this point. Yeah, I know, the Kings could still catch them. That would be awesome. But Anaheim losing means other people winning, and that can impact the Kings.
At the other end of the stick, COL would have to go 14-1 to get to 54 points. That’s not going to happen.
CGY, CBJ, PHX and NAS aren’t doing much better. None can afford more than 3 or 4 losses. There’s the slimmest chance that one of them could go 10-5-0 (approx.) and if the chips fell just right they could squeak in at 52 points. I feel pretty confident crossing them off the list.
EDM is almost exactly as screwed as those teams, but they have 15 games left and a record of 10-5-0 would get them to 53 points, where their odds would rise to 59%.
That leaves seven teams fighting for 6 spots (3rd-8th seed). MIN, VAN, LAK, SJS, DET, STL and DAL.
Those seven teams are separated by 9 points and 7 points-blown.
If you’re looking for more plausible long-shots, DAL has 15 games left and with a record of 9-5-1 could find its way to 54 points, where their odds are 92.3%. At 8-6-1, it’s a coin toss.
Odds at 52 points are around 50:50 for all the teams, but obviously the teams on the outside looking in would be happy to scratch their way up to 52 and roll the dice.
MIN, VAN and LAK would have to play very, very badly in order to drop out of the playoff picture. 7-8-0 in the Kings’ case should still be good enough (better than 90% chance), and even 6-9-0 could be sufficient. MIN and VAN would have to do even worse.
DET, STL and SJS are vulnerable, especially if DAL or EDM (or, less likely, someone beneath them) get hot.
The Stars have three games against the Sharks, so their fate is at least partially in their own hands.
The Oilers don’t have any games against the teams immediately above them in the standings, so they will need help. Lots of it.
The Ducks play the Stars and the Oilers three times apiece, and the Jackets twice (if you’re inclined to still be worried about them). So Anaheim essentially can determine the final eight teams all on its own, by winning those games. Go…Ducks?
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