If the Los Angeles Kings were hoping to catch a break on Thursday while they were idle, then the night finished for them in disappointment. The Winnipeg Jets earned a 2-1 shootout victory over the St. Louis Blues while the Calgary Flames cruised to a 4-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers.
That combination of events left Los Angeles once again on the outside looking in. For the Kings, there are potentially two different ways they could make the playoffs thanks to the fact that the Pacific Division has been comparatively weak. The Flames currently hold the third Pacific Division seed with a 39-27-5 record while Winnipeg’s 36-23-12 record is good enough for the second Wild Card seed.
Los Angeles is two points behind Winnipeg and a point shy of Calgary and under the current set of circumstances, only need to surpass one of those squads to get into the playoffs. The Kings don’t have any opportunities left to directly impact the Jets though and they’ll only get one more crack at Calgary on April 9.
Any one of those three squads missing the playoffs would kill a great potential storyline. Obviously, we would be without the representation of the defending Stanley Cup champions if the Kings fall short in the regular season, but this would be the first time Winnipeg has hosted the playoffs since 1996. Meanwhile, Calgary has defied expectations all season and is still somehow managing to excel without captain Mark Giordano (bicep).
Meanwhile, San Jose secured a 4-1 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Sharks are six points shy of Winnipeg and five points behind Calgary, so at this stage of the season the Sharks making the playoffs would be nothing short of miraculous. Then again, stranger things have happened.