The Good: With a 6-0 win, the Red Wings have made the Wild a virtual non-threat in the race for the posteason. They join the Ducks (who beat Calgary to keep the Flames behind the Kings) as the Conference's long shots. Take them out of the equation and this means its basically down to five teams vying for two spots.
The Bad: The Stars beat the Oilers making it impossible for the Kings to crack the top eight tonight (now three points back). The Blackhawks also won and if they've turned this thing around it's time to forget about trying to catch them and instead aim for the division title.
The Odd: On December 10, the Wild led the world in points (20-7-3, 43 points) while the Ducks (8-16-5, 21 points) were only better than the lowly Blue Jackets. After tonight they now have the same record. A 22-point difference made up in less than three months.
Tonight's Games That Matter and Your Guide For Rooting:
Columbus at Phoenix, 5:00 PM -- Blue Jackets. You have to think the Coyotes will regress a bit and make the division race achievable for the Kings. Maybe that starts tonight.
Pittsburgh at Colorado, 6:00 PM -- Penguins. Another loss by the Avs after a tough one the other night to Columbus would be a great thing for Kings fans.
Anaheim at Los Angeles, 7:30 PM -- Kings. Best way to control your own fate: win. The Kings need to win against a better-than-their-record-indicates Ducks team.
St. Louis at San Jose, 7:30 PM -- Blues. A Kings win and a Sharks loss puts the Kings one point behind the most dangerous team in their division.
D - Division Leader, X - Clinched Playoffs, Y - Clinched Division, Z - Clinched Conference, P - Clinched Presidents' Trophy
GR - Games Remaining, W - Wins, L - Losses, OT - OT/Shootout losses (worth one point), PTS - Points
+/- Goal differential, LY PTS - Point total of NHL team with SAME seed at the same point in the 2010-11 season
L10 - Record in last ten games, H/R LEFT - Breakdown of home/road games remaining on the schedule
Division leaders are seeded 1, 2, and 3 in Conference standings. If two or more clubs are tied in points during the regular season, the standing of the clubs is determined in the following order:
The fewer number of games played (i.e., superior points percentage).
The greater number of games won, excluding games won in the Shootout.
The greater number of points earned in games between the tied clubs. If two clubs are tied, and have not played an equal number of home games against each other, points earned in the first game played in the city that had the extra game shall not be included. If more than two clubs are tied, the higher percentage of available points earned in games among those clubs, and not including any "odd" games, shall be used to determine the standing.
The greater differential between goals for and against for the entire regular season.