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Kings have many playoff scenarios

April 04, 2012|By Helene Elliott
  • Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, left, and defenseman Willie Mitchell celebrate the Kings' 2-0 victory over Edmonton on Monday.
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, left, and defenseman Willie Mitchell celebrate… (Richard Hartog / Associated…)

The Kings are on the verge of clinching a playoff spot -- but there's also a chance they could finish ninth and miss the postseason party.

Courtesy of Jeremy Zager, the Kings' stat guru and manager of communications and broadcasting, here are their playoff scenarios as they prepare to finish the season with home-and-away games against the San Jose Sharks.

The Kings' magic number to clinch a playoff spot is one.

They can clinch a spot Thursday by one of the following ways:

-- A Dallas loss (in regulation, overtime or shootout) versus Nashville, or

-- A Kings win or loss in overtime/shootout versus San Jose.

The Kings' magic number to clinch at least the No. 7 seed is one.

The Kings can clinch at least the seventh seed in the Western Conference Thursday by one of the following ways:

-- A Kings regulation win Thursday versus San Jose.

 This would give the Kings 95 points and mean the Sharks could get  a maximum of only  94 points.

-- A Kings win in overtime Thursday versus San Jose.

This would give the Kings 95 points and mean the Sharks could get a maximum of only 95 points.

However, this would give the Kings the tiebreaker in the regulation and overtime wins category: Kings would have 35 ROWs and San Jose could  get only 34.

If the Kings beat San Jose in a shootout  Thursday, that wouldn't clinch the No. 7 spot for the Kings.

That would give the Kings 95 points and mean the Sharks could  get only a maximum of 95 points. The Kings would still have 34 ROWs and San Jose could still potentially get 34 ROWs. The next tiebreaker is head-to-head points. In this scenario the Kings would have seven head-to-head points (3-1-1) and the Sharks would have five head-to-head points (2-2-1).  San Jose could then win in regulation Saturday to force the third tiebreaker.  Both teams would now have 34 ROWs and seven head-to-head points (both teams would be 3-2-1 against each other). The third tiebreaker is goal differential.  Right now the Kings are a +17 and San Jose is a +16.

If the Kings win in a shootout Thursday the Kings would then be a +18, while San Jose would be +15. Meaning the Sharks would have to win in regulation Saturday by two or more goals.

So here is the bottom line if the Kings beat San Jose in a shootout  Thursday: The only way the Sharks could then overtake the Kings would be to beat the Kings in regulation on Saturday by at least two goals.

The soonest the Kings could clinch the Pacific Division is Friday. Here’s how:

-- A Kings regulation/overtime win Thursday vs. San Jose.

-- A Phoenix loss in regulation Friday at St. Louis.

This would give the Kings 95 points and 35 ROWs.Phoenix could then  get only a maximum of 95 points and 35 ROWs. The Kings own the third tiebreaker (head-to-head points).

You will be quizzed on this later.

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Kings have many playoff scenarios

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