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April 9, 2011 8:30 am

Headache-inducing first-round math

In terms of the Kings’ first-round playoff fate, there are a ridiculous number of scenarios that could come into play over the next two days, involving four games: Anaheim at Kings, Nashville at St. Louis, Phoenix at San Jose and Detroit at Chicago (on Sunday morning). I actually stopped counting at 72 different scenarios, and there are probably a couple dozen more. To put it as basically as possible, here is the Western Conference’s top eight, with points and with regulation wins in parenthesis…

1. Vancouver, 115 points (49 regulation wins)
2. San Jose, 103 (47)
3. Detroit, 102 (46)
4. Nashville, 99 (38)
5. Phoenix, 99 (38)
6. Kings, 98 (36)
7. Anaheim, 97 (42)
8. Chicago, 97 (38)

Because of the regulation-wins tiebreaker, the Kings would need at least 100 points to pass Nashville and/or Phoenix, and that assumes a regulation loss for one or both. If the Kings win tonight, they will finish fourth, fifth or sixth. If they lose — regardless of whether it’s in regulation, overtime or a shootout — they will finish seventh or eighth. An eighth-place finish means a guaranteed first-round matchup against Vancouver. Finishing sixth or seventh means a matchup against either Detroit or San Jose. A fourth- or fifth-place finish means a matchup against either Nashville, Phoenix or Chicago. Anaheim is the only team that the Kings has no chance of playing in the first round.

There will be a quiz in one hour.

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