When the Montreal Canadiens acquired an unprotected 1st-round pick from the Florida Panthers, GM Kent Hughes had a plan in place; and it just might work.
Owning both their own and the Florida Panthers’ 1st-round picks, the Canadiens are in a really good position to select two strong prospects in late June.
The Canadiens were projected to be bottom-feeders again this year, but have surprised almost everyone across the NHL with some inspiring hockey, but the reality is slowly setting in, as they wake up today in the bottom 10 of the NHL standings.
But, as the old saying goes, misery loves company.
The Good News
Having the most difficult schedule in the league moving forward is a tough challenge to overcome for the Canadiens, but it’s not all that bad.
You could be the Florida Panthers, who have the second most difficult schedule out of any team in the NHL left to play.
Currently sitting 11th in the Eastern Conference and chasing the New York Islanders and New York Rangers for Wild Card spots, things haven’t gone to plan in Florida.
Despite having one of the league’s more favourable schedules to start the year, they’ve stumbled out of the gate and continue to hover around a .500 record.
The good news? The Canadiens own their 2023 1st-round pick, meaning that the Panthers’ potential woes are Montreal’s gain.
Should the Panthers continue on their path, or do any worse, they would be offering the Montreal Canadiens a second crack at possibly winning the NHL Draft Lottery and getting their hands on some of the top players in this draft.
And, as Montreal Hockey Now recently pointed out, if the Panthers miss the playoffs, the Canadiens could win both lotteries, according to a technicality in the NHL Draft Lottery rules.
If you’re Montreal, you got to like those odds.
What The Odds Say
As it currently stands, the Florida Panthers have 32 points through 31 games for a 0.516 points percentage record.
For them to hope to make the NHL playoffs, they would need, at minimum 96 points, based on past seasons; and even that’s not safe, as the 2018-2019 Montreal Canadiens would have you know.
With 51 games left this season, the Panthers would need 64 points out of a possible 102 to make it into the playoffs, meaning they need to maintain a .627 points percentage ratio.
The problem is, their odds to achieve that, based on their schedule and recent play
After starting the season with a -3000 odds to make the playoffs for NHL betting odds, the Panthers have seen their odds shrink to a meager -176.
It’s a massive shift in the expectations for them this season, as these odds rarely shift to such a violent degree.
MUST READ: MHN 2023 NHL Draft Rankings