With one half of the NHL moving on the postseason, and focusing on their hopeful playoff success the rest of the
losers NHL will turn their collective minds to the NHL Entry Draft.
The first step in this in the draft lottery, to determine the final draft position of the bottom 14 teams. It gives every team at least of chance of moving up four spots, and some teams even have a chance of getting the top pick. This is to discourage teams — supposedly — from tanking at the end of the season as they might not get the top pick anyways. I doubt any other team could have been as bad as the Oilers if they tried.
Here is the preliminary, and unofficial, draft order and the chances each team has of winning the lottery.
The lottery will be held tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 8 p.m. EDT and will be carried live on Versus in the United States; on TSN in Canada.
Here are the basic parameters of the lottery:
-Teams may only move up a maximum of four spots; only the top (bottom) five teams have a chance of winning the number one overall pick.
-Teams may only drop one spot. So: if St. Louis wins the lottery (by some miracle), then the highest they can draft is 10th. Every team from 10-14 drops down one spot.
Generally, the top team in the lottery wins anyways. Although as bad as their season has gone, I wouldn’t doubt the Oilers lose this as well. Not a bad thing, exactly, since the top two picks in the draft are pretty much a toss up between Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin.
Someone made a good note yesterday; odd that we keep seeing the same teams at the bottom of this draft over, and over, and over again. So much for rebuilding through the draft.
The Pittsburgh Penguins ended a long run of playoff overtime struggles on Wednesday … and are now one win away from ending the Washington Capitals’ season.
Many expected the Penguins to crater on defense without Kris Letang (they were 2-8-1 in the regular season without him). While there were shaky moments, Pittsburgh emphasized its speed and other strengths in taking a 3-2 overtime thriller against Washington.
With that, the Penguins’ series lead grows to 3-1.
It was a thrilling, sometimes nasty contest, from Sidney Crosby shaking off an Alex Ovechkin slash, to Evgeni Malkin delivering a hit some thought was over the line and plenty of typical playoff skirmishes.
Ultimately, Matt Murray played another strong game and Patric Hornqvist scored the overtime-winner to put the Capitals in a tough spot.
The Penguins lost their previous eight playoff overtime games, so maybe it was just a matter of time before such a game went their way?
Then again, the history between the two teams is a little different:
If the Capitals want to advance beyond the second round for the first time in the Ovechkin era, they’ll need to accomplish quite the feat against arguably the hottest team in the NHL.
Sidney Crosby is known to get fiery, but even for his feisty standards, he was furious during the third period of Game 4.
An Alex Ovechkin slash caught Crosby on the hand, leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins star shaking his mitt and pleading for a call.
After that, Crosby left to get his hand looked at … but not before flipping out and destroying his stick.
You can watch it happen in the GIF and the videos above.
Crosby was able to return not that long after that moment, although we can only speculate regarding how his overall game will be affected if his hand isn’t 100 percent.
Tensions seem to rise with every passing game in the playoffs, particularly in a series with bad blood like the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals.
Kris Letang was suspended for his hit in Game 3, and some wonder if Evgeni Malkin should suffer a similar fate for his check on Daniel Winnik on Wednesday.
Winnik left the contest and has not yet returned during the third period.
Take a look at the hit in the video above and decide for yourself.
Fires devastated the Canadian city of Fort McMurray, and the St. Louis Blues are doing their part to help those who were affected.
Here’s what the team is doing to raise money during Game 4 against the Dallas Stars:
Proceeds raised through the team’s 50/50 raffle and the Blues for Kids silent auction will benefit families who have been misplaced by the fires.
Blues forward Scottie Upshall shared his thoughts with the Associated Press regarding several family members being among those evacuated from the area.
“It’s been a great city, a city that’s survived for many years through some tough times and for me, growing up there doesn’t seem too long ago,” Upshall said. “Places that probably aren’t standing anymore will be really, really tough to take. But as long as everyone’s OK, that’s the main thing.”
Other people from around the hockey world weighed in on the scary scene, including Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips, who told the Ottawa Citizen that “it hurts a lot.”
People shared some scary sights from the evacuation.