Columbus is much worse off than the official standings (and pundits) would have you believe.
St. Louis is better off than the official standings say.
This has mostly to do with the fact that Columbus has only 12 games left, and St. Louis has 15. Everyone else who is still in contention has 13 or 14 games left.
Tie-breaker news: Kings are second in ROWs, behind Chicago, and third in goal-differential, behind Chicago and Anaheim.
Kings are best in the West in regulation wins, with 19.
Last night’s win over Dallas, brings the season series even, with two games remaining.
Kings have two games left against each of Anaheim, Minnesota, San Jose and Dallas.
Season series against each of those four teams is tied.
All the remaining games are important, but those eight games will hugely affect who makes the playoffs and who doesn’t. Splitting each of those mini “series” would be okay, but getting swept could be deadly.
For most of the season, NHL games have been worth 2.30-2.31 points on average (that is, every third game goes to OT or SO). I noticed lately though that the average has dropped to 2.27 (closer to one game in four going to OT in SO). Since that’s the average for the whole season, that means the number for recent games has been much closer to 2 points. In other words, those Bettman points are getting harder and harder to come by.