Friday, April 6, 2012

Canadiens Lock in a Top Pick

Though they picked up three out of a possible four points over their back to back against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes, by losing last night's shootout, the Montreal Canadiens made certain that a painful season wouldn't go without compensation for suffering fans.

By earning just 1 point last night, combined with wins by the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders, the Habs can now finish now higher than 28th in the league, ahead of only the Edmonton Oilers and Columbus Blue Jackets.  This guarantees them the third overall pick prior to the draft lottery which will take place on Tuesday, April 10th, at 8:00 PM EST.  The team in that spot has a 14.2% chance of winning the lottery and thus moving up to the first overall selection.

There is still a chance that the Habs miss out on a top 3 selection if one of the teams in the four slots below them wins the lottery.  The odds of this happening are roughly a combined 29.7%.  Thus, if the Canadiens do stay in 28th, the breakdown would be:

Pick 1st overall - 14.2% chance
Pick 3rd overall - 56.1% chance
Pick 4th overall - 29.7% chance

There is still a slim hope of moving up to the 2nd pick by sliding down to 29th overall, which fist would require the Canadiens to lose in regulation to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.  That is conceivable, and also may worsen Toronto's own selection by as much as two spots.  However, to move up, the Canadiens also need the Edmonton Oilers to win their game later that evening - no small task given they're taking on the Vancouver Canucks.  So I would categorize moving up in this way as unlikely at this point, but not impossible, especially if the Canucks use the final game to rest a few bodies (though this may be improbable given the Western Conference title is still up for grabs).

So enjoy that last game tomorrow night, Habs fans.  The Tank Mission is as complete as it can be.  Let's hope to watch our boys kick some Maple Leaf butt to go off into the very long summer break on a high note.  While this will be my last post of the regular season, now that I'm back in Montreal, content will resume as usual on Monday.  Just as last summer, we'll have features on various Montreal Canadiens-related aspects every weekday all summer long!  Thanks for tuning in on this turbulent 2011-12 ride.


Anonymous said...

Nice breakdown of the lottery, easily one of the silliest rules in sport. Is there any stipulation in place that prevents a team from repeatedly getting the 1st pick? Oh and welcome back.

Anonymous said...

Another Bettman brainwave.

Dan K. said...

Thanks. While it is true that the lottery means the last place team isn't GUARANTEED to get the first overall pick, they still are guaranteed a top 2 pick (with the by far best odds at #1), so the system has its issues. Until that is changed in some way, tanking will remain a reality.

Anonymous said...

I'll admit I don't really like the way the draft is set up, but does anyone have a better way to do it?
There is a difference between a team the misses the playoffs by one point and has little chance of making the playoffs, you can't give all non playoff teams the same odds. and no matter where you put the line teams will be accused of taking advantage of it by tanking to get a higher pick.