Looking at the remaining seven games for the Isles: two against Pittsburgh, Boston, Ottawa, New Jersey, Winnipeg and Columbus, I can't help but ponder where the Isles are going to end up in the draft lottery this year. Frankly, its upsetting because I did not have the Isles finishing in the bottom five this year, hoping not to have to blog about another lottery, but alas, here we are. Realistically, I could see the Isles winning two out of the seven, maybe throw in an overtime loss if they're lucky. Let's face it, other than the Jets and Jackets, the Isles are up against some of the top 10 in the NHL, all going after playoff positions and division titles. I doubt we will see the backups during this stretch, maybe Hedberg from Jersey.
So tack on four more points and the Islanders end up with 77 points. If you want to be a bottom five team, you need less than 80 points and the Isles will be doing just that. With Toronto and Carolina playing each other tonight, one of them is guaranteed 77 points and if it goes to overtime give the other 76 points. Anaheim just needs one win in seven and they're at 77 points as well. We'll assume that with 5 games left all three teams will surpass the 77 point mark. So will the Islanders end up in 5th? Maybe. I think it's safe to agree that Columbus will be in the number one, but I'm not sure Montreal will be picking behind them. A season ending injury to Taylor Hall of Edmonton may actually put the Oilers at the number two position in the draft by seasons end. Number 3? This is where it's close. Only Minnesota could beat out the Isles in points while I think Montreal could finish with 77 points as well. Both have more home games than away and have more winnable games than the Isles. Unless there is tanking involved, Minnesota could very well end up with 78 points and there would be a tie with the Islanders and the Canadiens, giving the edge to Montreal, leaving the Islanders in third place. So even after the lottery, the Isles should be picking 3rd or 4th in this years draft. So my predictions goes as follows:
Who the Islanders should pick will be discussed after the actual draft lottery, but for now, let's see who tanks the final 6-7 games. Bring on Bridgeport!!