The wild West

How wild is the West this season? Consider what happened last night. At the start of Tuesday, the bottom of the Western Conference playoff race looked like this:

6. Nashville, 53 points.
7. Kings, 53 points.
8. Vancouver, 51 points.

Then, Nashville lost to Calgary, and because the Kings held the fourth tiebreaker over Nashville at the moment — yes, the fourth, that being goal differential — the Kings moved up a spot without playing a game.

6. Kings, 53 points.
7. Nashville, 53 points.
8. Vancouver, 51 points.

Then, to round out the night, Vancouver beat Columbus, giving the Kings, Nashville and Vancouver 53 points. Vancouver has the most wins, and the Kings still hold the tiebreaker over Nashville, making it…

6. Vancouver, 53 points.
7. Kings, 53 points.
8. Nashville, 53 points.

So the Kings moved up one spot, then back down one spot, by sitting at their homes Tuesday. The good news for all three teams is that the teams in ninth, 10th and 11th places — Detroit, Dallas and Minnesota — all lost in regulation Tuesday. Detroit is five points behind the cluster, with one game in hand. Pretty simple, huh?

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