Counting points

Send your thank-you notes to Washington. The Caps’ victory over Detroit today guarantees that the Kings will at least stay in eighth place for another couple days. It it feels weird to be tracking games in mid-January, well, it is, but that’s how tight things are in the West.

If you’re looking to get caught up on today’s news and notes, here’s my notebook from today…

Kings notebook (Jan. 19)

Also, something of current interest… The Toronto Globe and Mail today published their analysis of the NHL playoff race and concluded that it will take 95 points to make the playoffs in the West. That would require, for the Kings, a 19-15 finish (or its equivalent). The Kings, currently in eighth place, are on pace for 97 points. Here’s what Terry Murray said today about being chased in the West, and the playoff situation…

MURRAY: “We can’t control what the other team is doing. We need to just focus on ourselves. So we don’t look at all the different scenarios — I don’t, anyway — and the possibilities and the combinations of different numbers. We have to just come out and play, and be ready for a team that’s coming off a huge victory last night, with a lot of momentum and four lines, actually, that were a big part of it. So we’ll build on our momentum that we established in the third period of the win, in the shootout, and I think we understand the importance of a division game.

“It’s a big rival game, with another California team, and we’re going to have to come and make sure we’re matching their intensity right away. There’s no doubt that they’re going to come out in the first period with the attitude of, `Hey, we played last night. We have to show them that we’re ready to play with the same kind of attitude that we showed against Calgary.’ They’re going to be talking about it, so we have to be ready for it.”

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