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Canadiens Tank Watch: Draft Lottery Odds Becoming Clearer

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Montreal Canadiens Draft position

There are only a handful of games left in the regular season, which means it’s once again time to take a look at the situation of the teams who are competing with the Montreal Canadiens in a race to the bottom of the standings.

The goal is to secure the rights to one of the many interesting prospects available at the 2024 NHL Entry Draft.

Current Situation

The last time we checked in on the competition, the Canadiens were sitting in 27th in the NHL standings. This time around, Montreal has managed to drop one additional spot, as they are currently sitting in 28th.

If the Canadiens were to maintain their position until the end of the season, they would have the following odds at the 2024 NHL Draft Lottery:

1st overall pick- 8.5 percent

2nd overall pick- 8.6 percent

3rd overall pick- 0.3 percent

4th overall pick- N/A

5th overall pick- 24.5 percent

6th overall pick- 44 percent

7th overall pick- 14.2 percent

 

There are very low odds the Habs will catch the Columbus Blue Jackets for the 29th overall. The Habs are six points up on them and they also have a game in hand, but there’s still a risk both the Ottawa Senators and Arizona Coyotes can finish below Montreal.

All three teams have five games left to play, however, given their recent form of three losses in a row, the Canadiens seem to be well on their way to solidifying their hold on the 28th overall place in the NHL standings.

Montreal CAnadiens tank watch standings

 

Strength Of Schedule(s)

29th Place – Columbus Blue Jackets – Strength of schedule: 1st.

Remaining opponents: Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Nashville Predators.

28th Place – Montreal Canadiens – Strength of schedule: 23rd.

Remaining opponents: Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings (x2), New York Islanders.

27th Place – Arizona Coyotes – Strength of schedule: 8th.

Remaining opponents: Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers (x2), Calgary Flames, Seattle Kraken.

26th Place – Ottawa Senators – Strength of schedule: 3rd.

Remaining opponents: New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Montreal Canadiens.

As you can see, the Canadiens no longer have one of the most difficult remaining schedules. To make matters even more interesting, the Blue Jackets, Coyotes, and Senators all have significantly tougher schedules.

While the Habs will face teams like the Flyers and the Senators, their competition has schedules filled with opponents such as the Edmonton Oilers, The New York Rangers, and the Boston Bruins.

Simply put, the strength of schedule has been Montreal’s greatest ally down the stretch, but due to the low number of games remaining, it is no longer a favourable situation.

Recent Form

To get a better idea of how the teams have performed recently, we’ll take a look at their record in the last 10 games, as well as their shot control (CF%), high-danger scoring chances (HDCF%), expected goals (xGF%), shooting percentage (SH%) and team save percentage (SV%).

montreal canadiens form

The Blue Jackets are in a terrible league of their own, however, they have also received the best goaltending in the group over the last 10 games.

As for the Habs, they’re not quite at the Blue Jacket’s level of despair, but their underlying numbers are nothing to write home about, which is a positive in this particular case. This means Coyotes and Senators have controlled more shots, high-danger scoring chances, and expected goals.

Brass Tacks

At this point in the season, recent form takes on a lot more value than the scheduled opponents. As we all know, any team can beat any opponent in the NHL, regardless of where they are in the standings. Goaltending and shooting efficiency can go a long way in beating the odds.

And while the Coyotes and Senators have easier schedules, that’s no longer necessarily a good thing.

Teams that are preparing for a playoff run will end up resting some of their best players, and they will also try to avoid injuries, which should lead to a less intense brand of hockey. On the flip side, many of the Canadiens’ opponents are still attempting to qualify for the playoffs, which means there are good odds they will ice their best lineup.

With that in mind, we can start to prepare for the draft range options once the NHL’s Draft Lottery, which is expected to take place around May 6th or 7th.

The Canadiens are likely to end up with a draft pick somewhere between five and seventh overall while having an outside chance to pick in the top three.

montreal canadiens draft lottery odds


All 2024 NHL strength of schedule information via Tankathon. The numbers in the article are accurate as of April 8, at 1 pm ET. All statistics are via Natural Stat Trick (5v5 only).