The Patriots had plenty of news Sunday to cap the weekend, but let’s not forget that on Friday night, one of the greatest moments in sports history occurred.
The NHL held its Draft Lottery, picking the top eight picks, which consisted of the seven worst teams, then eight placeholders to represent the losers of the play-in round. The Red Wings had the single best odds at the first pick (18.5 percent), but by having their own pick and the Sharks’, the Senators actually had a 25 percent chance at getting it.
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Of course, the eight play-in team spots had low odds (ranging from one percent to six percent), but when you added them all up, there was a 24.5 percent chance that that a play-in team would get the first overall pick.
And as fast as you could say “wait, are we sure this is the best way to…,” the drawing was done and the first overall pick was awarded to – you guessed it – a play-in team, rather than one of the worst teams. And because the team won’t be picked until we know which teams lose in the play-in round, it opened the door wide for tanking – er, sitting some guys out for COVID concerns.
It was the greatest. Hockey fans finally felt some familiarity. What a stupid, hilarious mess.
The potential winners now range from teams that could use the help (the Canadiens and Blackhawks) to the freaking Penguins. The actual team will be chosen via a drawing after the play-in round in which all eight losers have a one-in-eight chance.
Does it affect the Bruins? Nah, not really, but there’s a potential franchise player up for grabs in left wing Alexis Lafreniere and you can bet the Bruins hope he doesn’t end up with certain teams.
Here are the teams you’re hoping don’t end up lucking into that No. 1 pick if you’re the Bruins:
1. Maple Leafs
The Atlantic Division has become Boston and Tampa’s playground. It boasts two monster teams, but there’s a drop before you get to the Maple Leafs.
Think about what the first overall pick would do for the Leafs, though. Sure, they need defense way more than they need forwards, but imagine having a top six of:
That is positively disgusting. The Leafs are already a top-three scoring team in the NHL. Adding yet another offensive star would make them… dare I say… legitimate?
This seems so unlikely because the Penguins would have to lose to the Canadiens – who stink – in the play-in round. Say they did, though.
They’re already a recent champion and annual Cup contender. They could use help on the wing and Lafreniere would provide them with a third elite offensive player to go with Hall of Famers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
It might be a surprise to see the Panthers here ahead of the Canadiens, but Florida could very well pose the bigger threat in the Atlantic over the next few years.
The Panthers finished sixth in scoring this season and have two of the best forwards in the game in Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau. If they add Lafreniere and Sergei Bobrovsky remembers how to play hockey (that’s a big if; he was brutal this season), the Panthers could be good for a while.
It just feels like Habs have such a long way to go that adding one star – especially considering a wing – won’t suddenly make them world beaters.
Their centers are fine and pretty young, but their guys ranked 39th (Phillip Danault), 43rd (Max Domi) and 53rd (Nick Suzuki) among centers in points this season. At the very least, that would be one hell of a left side with Lafreniere, Jonathan Drouin and Tomas Tatar.
After NHL Draft Lottery fiasco, Bruins should hope these teams miss out on first pick originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston