Last night, I posted the basics of when the Kings would be able to clinch a playoff spot, etc. If you want to go (way, way) more in depth, Kings communications-staff guru Jeremy Zager has passed along the following breakdown of exactly what could happen on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and what it means for the Kings. Read carefully. The exam will be at noon. No cheat sheets.
Kings magic number to clinch a playoff spot is one.
The Kings can clinch a playoff spot Thursday by one of the following ways:
—A Dallas loss (in regulation, overtime or shootout) vs. Nashville OR
—A Kings win or loss in overtime/shootout vs. San Jose
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 vs. San Jose. (This would give the Kings 95 points and mean the Sharks could only get a maximum of 94 points.)
—A Kings win in overtime Thursday vs. San Jose. (This would give the Kings 95 points and mean the Sharks could only get a maximum of 95 points. However this would give the Kings the tie-breaker in the ROW category: Kings would have 35 ROWs and San Jose could only get 34.)
—If the Kings win in a shootout Thursday vs. San Jose – this wouldn’t clinch the 7th seed. Here’s why: This would give the Kings 95 points and mean the Sharks could only get a maximum of 95 points. The Kings would still have 34 ROWs and San Jose could still potentially get 34 ROW. The next tie-breaker is head-to-head points. In this scenario the Kings would have 7 head-to-head points (3-1-1) and the Sharks would have 5 head-to-head points (2-2-1). San Jose could then win in regulation Saturday to force the third tie-breaker. Both teams would now have 34 ROWs and 7 head-to-head points (both teams would be 3-2-1 vs. each other). The third tie-breaker 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 win a shootout Thursday vs. San Jose: The only way the Sharks could overtake the Kings is to win in regulation Saturday by at least two goals.
The soonest the Kings could potentially clinch the Pacific Division is Friday. Here’s how: A Kings regulation/overtime win Thursday vs. San Jose, and a Phoenix loss in regulation Friday at St. Louis. This would give the Kings 95 points and 35 ROWs. Phoenix could then only get a maximum of 95 points and 35 ROWs. The Kings own the third tie-breaker (head-to-head points).