Canadiens Tank Tracker: Top-5 NHL Draft Lottery Odds In Sight
The Montreal Canadiens may be slumping to end this long and taxing season, but their odds of finishing bottom five continue to improve.
After a definitive 3-0 shutout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, the Canadiens now have five games left on the season.
They’ve already secured a bottom-10 finish this season after last night’s loss, but the organization’s goal looks to be maintaining their current bottom-five position in the standings.
With their loss last night, the Canadiens move closer to that goal; as the odds of finishing in the bottom five have shot up to over 50% over the last week.
The Canadiens also announced that David Savard, who has been a pillar on the Canadiens’ blue line down the stretch, will miss the final games of the season.
The veteran joins the likes of Cole Caufield, Juraj Slafkovsky, Josh Anderson, Arber Xhekaj, Kaiden Guhle, Christian Dvorak and Sean Monahan on the sideline to finish the year.
The Canadiens face the Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals this week, two teams that aren’t set to make the playoffs; and it’ll be interesting to see if Montreal will be able to get up for those games.
Since their last-minute loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, something has been visibly different on the bench, with fatigue looking like it’s finally set in on this depleted club.
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Unfortunately for the Montreal Canadiens, their immediate rivals aren’t faring any better as of late.
The Arizona Coyotes lost back-to-back games this weekend to the Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks, and only lead the Canadiens by one point in the standings.
The good news is that the Coyotes still have three games against the Seattle Kraken, as well as the Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver Canucks; a lighter schedule than the Canadiens.
The Philadelphia Flyers have created some separation thanks to their victory over Montreal on Tuesday, now sitting with a five-point advantage in the standings with two games in hand.
The Flyers finish their season against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Chicago Blackhawks; which could ultimately put them out of striking distance of the Habs when all is said and done.
It looks like, for the second consecutive season, it will go down to the wire with the Arizona Coyotes, as the two teams finished 32nd and 31st last year respectively.
It was a heated race to the bottom that the Canadiens ultimately won due to a late-season slide that ensured them top odds in the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery.
Let’s see how it plays out this year.
After Saturday night, the Florida Panthers finally leapfrogged the Pittsburgh Penguins and claimed the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Panthers’ commanding 7-0 victory over Columbus, coupled with the Penguins’ devastating 4-3 loss to the Bruins allowed Florida to finally get within striking distance of a playoff spot.
But, it’s still far from over.
The Penguins still have a game in hand and also close out their season against the Red Wings, Blackhawks and Blue Jackets to finish the season.
Florida has a more demanding schedule, facing the Buffalo Sabres, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes to close out the season.
Speaking of the Buffalo Sabres, they’re still not out of this race; as they sit four points back of the Panthers with two games in hand.
The resurging Sabres control their destiny with a massive game against the Panthers on Tuesday night, as a victory would not only put them within serious striking distance of the final Wild Card spot, but also significantly undercut Florida’s late-season push to the playoffs.
Things are about to get interesting.
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