Sunday, January 17, 2010

Right on Track

For all that's been made of the recent three game losing streak by the Kings, with their back to back wins they're actually right on track.

Since the beginning of the season we've been looking at the importance of breaking down the season into 10-game segments. To help maintain the sanity of players and fans alike it's critical to not overreact to any one game, any one period or even any one player (more on that later).

If you look at the final standings in the Western Conference last year, the Kings need to average about 11-12 points per 10 games (11.5 points x 8 segments = 92 points). Eight of those segments would equal 80 games, then use the last two games of the season for seeding purposes (any points acquired in the final two contests would push the Kings over 92 points).

When carving up this season into such segments a very interesting trend develops for the Kings...

1st 1o games = 12 points
2nd 10 games = 12 points
3rd 10 games = 13 points (read Picking Up Steam by clicking here)
4th 10 games = 10 points

That's a very consistent average. Sure, you wish that last stretch was a little better. However, a quick look back at the schedule reveals that brutal December run - injuries, plus some crazy scheduling. So, again, no overreaction.

Which brings us to the current stretch of 10 games:

Game 41 - 12/31 vs MIN = 2 points
Game 42 - 01/02 vs WAS = 2 points
Game 43 - 01/04 vs SJS = 2 points
Game 44 - 01/07 vs DET = 0 points
Game 45 - 01/09 vs STL = 0 points
Game 46 - 01/11 vs SJS = 0 points
Game 47 - 01/14 vs ANA = 2 points
Game 48 - 01/16 vs BOS = 2 points
Game 49 - 01/19 vs SJS = ?
Game 50 - 01/21 vs BUF = ?

So...that's 10 points already in this segment, with two more games to go.

Fairly consistent when you elevate up to 30,000 feet and get out of the minutia of this play, that play - this game, that game.

Pick up a few more points in the next two games and this is a successful stretch, in spite of that frustrating three game losing streak to the Wings-Blues-Sharks last week.

Make no mistake about it though. The Kings aren't out of the woods yet. They continue to hover around the 8th seed in the West, they have two strong teams coming in this week to finish out the home stand (SJ and Buffalo)...and they begin a five game road trip Saturday that features games against Detroit (looking to leap frog the Kings for a playoff spot), Boston (looking for redemption after letting a two goal lead evaporate in LA) and New Jersey (Martin Brodeur in goal, enough said).

One at a time though.

Next up San Jose.

Check back tomorrow for an unlikely interview as part of the game preview.


note: for those confused by the picture above, today's 10 Game Segment feature is brought to you by former LA Kings forward #10 Alyn McCauley

1 comment:

  1. If the Western teams continue at the current pace, it will take 97 or 98 points to make the payoffs this year.