NHL Standings: Kings Win Heats Up Western Conference and Pacific Division Race


It’s squeaky bum time, as Sir Alex Ferguson would say, with the playoffs rapidly approaching while 11 teams vie for eight spots in the Western Conference playoffs. The Los Angeles Kings not only took care of their own business with a 3-0 victory over Calgary, but they had one of their most productive nights of late, as they moved up to seventh in the Western Conference because Calgary, San Jose and Colorado all lost. The Dallas Stars got a crucial win on the road in Edmonton to stay atop the Pacific Division for one more day, just one point ahead of the Kings. Let’s break down the night for the Pacific Division and the Western Conference race:

3. Dallas Stars: 3-1 win at Edmonton, 89 Points
Games remaining: 5
Opponents remaining: Vancouver (away), San Jose (home and away), Nashville (away), St. Louis (home)

  • The Stars’ win over the Oilers put them in very good standing with five games to go, even though they’ll have to face five playoff teams from here on out.
  • The home and home with the Sharks is the biggest two games for the Stars, and they’ll likely win the Pacific Division if they can win both of those games.
  • With 35 regulation wins, they own the tie-breaker over everyone, and will continue to do so unless they collapse in the season’s final week.

7. Los Angeles Kings: 3-0 win at Calgary, 88 Points
Games remaining: 5
Opponents remaining: Edmonton(home and away), Minnesota (away), San Jose (home and away)

  • Dustin Brown, Willie Mitchell and Justin Williams scored for the Kings, while Jonathan Quick got his 9th shutout of the season, tying St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliot for the NHL lead.
  • The win puts the Kings three points clear of Calgary with one game in hand, and two points clear of Colorado with two games in hand.
  • At this point, the Kings appear to be locked in a race just Dallas, San Jose and Phoenix, with all three teams separated by two points and the Kings in the middle.
  • Three Pacific Division teams will likely make the playoffs, barring a late resurgence from Colorado or Calgary
  • The Kings own the regulation win tie-breaker over San Jose, Phoenix and Colorado, but not Dallas or Calgary

8. San Jose Sharks: 3-1 loss at Anaheim, 88 Points
Games remaining: 5
Opponents remaining: Phoenix (away), Dallas (home and away), Los Angeles (home and away)

  • The Sharks allowed two goals in the third period to the Ducks, on the same night the Ducks were eliminated from playoff contention, in what was probably the biggest Kings gift of the season, in both senses.
  • San Jose probably has the most favorable schedule of the bunch in terms of controlling their own destiny. Should the Sharks win three games, they’ll be locks for the playoffs, as those wins would hurt the chances of Phoenix, Dallas and LA. Should they lose however, the same would be true for the Sharks’ fate.
  • The Sharks do not own the regulation win tie-breaker over anyone.

9. Phoenix Coyotes: Did Not Play, 87 Points
Games remaining: 5
Opponents remaining: San Jose (home), Anaheim (home), Columbus (home), St. Louis (away), Minnesota (away)

  • The Coyotes have an interesting schedule, considering that after their game against San Jose tonight, they won’t face another team that needs a win, outside of St. Louis who is playing for the President’s Trophy.
  • Ending the season in St. Paul against the Wild is treacherous. Don’t believe me? Ask the Dallas Stars from a year ago.
  • The Coyotes do not own the regulation win tie-breaker over anyone.

10. Colorado Avalanche: 1-0 loss at Vancouver, 87 Points
Games remaining: 3
Opponents remaining: Calgary (away), Columbus (home), Nashville (home)

  • The Avs season is essentially over. With just three games left, they’ll be hard pressed to over come two teams in the standings, considering that everyone above them has two games in hand on them.
  • In a strange scheduling quirk, Colorado gets six days off while the rest of Western Conference catches up on games played. Isn’t that weird?
  • The Avs do not own the regulation win tie-breaker over anyone.

11. Calgary Flames: 3-0 loss vs. Los Angeles, 86 Points
Games remaining: 4
Opponents remaining: Colorado (home), Vancouver (home and away), Anaheim (home)

  • With the loss to the Kings on Wednesday night, the Flames’ season is on life support. Brent Sutter mentioned on Wedesday that they would need to win-out to make the playoffs, and so the loss to the Kings doesn’t do them any favors, as they have one fewer game than the Pacific Division teams they’re chasing.
  • The Flames own the regulation win tie-breaker over San Jose, Phoenix and Colorado, but not Dallas or Los Angeles.