Let me preface this by saying that I’m not going to be pissed like some if the Canes were to gain 1-6 points in the next 3 games. I was all about the tank earlier in the season, but at this point, the result of the games aren't all that important. I would prefer Forsberg or Galchenyuk, but being in a position to draft Faksa, Gaunce or one of the D prospects excites me as well. With that being said, I couldn’t help but notice that the Leafs and Wild were able to pull out unexpected victories against Buffalol and L.A. Tampa took Winnipeg to OT and won. Combined with a Carolina loss, I assumed that this was a good night for those on the tankwagon. I decided to take a look at the bottom of the standings for the first time in a while.
Carolina is currently sitting 23rd overall, which would give them the 8th overall pick (ignoring the lottery). Carolina is currently 2 points away from the 4th overall pick with the Wild having a game in hand on the Canes. Columbus has already clinched the worst record in the league. Carolina owns the ROW tiebreaker on Edmonton and Montreal. As a result, Carolina would need to lose out in regulation and Montreal/Edmonton would have to win out for the Canes to finish lower than either of them (highly unlikely). As I mentioned above, Minnesota sits at 27 with a game in hand. Again, Carolina has already clinched the ROW tiebreaker. Carolina is one point away from the 5th pick and leads the ROW tiebreaker vs. Toronto 31-30. Carolina also owns the H2H tiebreaker 7-3. Carolina is 1 point up on both the 25th place Islanders and the 24th place Ducks with both having a game in hand on the Canes. Carolina has already clinched the ROW tiebreaker on the Isles. The Ducks are 1 back of Carolina in terms of ROW and own the H2H tiebreaker 4-2. Carolina is down by 1 to 22nd place Tampa with the Bolts having a game in hand and having a 2 game ROW advantage with 4 to play. Carolina owns the H2H tiebreaker 7-6. Carolina is down by 3 to 21st place Atlantapeg with the Thrasherjets leading the ROW tiebreaker by one. Atlantapeg wins the H2H tiebreaker 8-5.
The remaining schedules for the current and likely bottom 10 are as follows…
Atlantapeg – at Florida, at New York Islanders, vs. Tampa
Tampa – vs. Washington, at Montreal, at Toronto, at Atlantapeg
Carolina – at Ottawa, vs. Montreal, at Florida
Anaheim – vs. Edmonton, at Vancouver, at Edmonton, at Calgary
New York – vs. Ottawa, at New Jersey, vs. Winnipeg, at Columbus
Toronto – at Buffalol, vs. Tampa, at Montreal
Minnesota – at Chicago, at Nashville, vs. Chicago, vs. Nashville
Montreal – vs. Tampa, at Carolina, vs. Toronto
Edmonton – at Anaheim, at Los Angeles, vs. Anaheim, at Vancouver
Put on your Carnac costumes… how low can Carolina go?
2 days later and the Canes are still 23rd overall. Minnesota won on Sunday to pull even in points, but Carolina has already clinched the ROW tiebreaker and thus remain ahead of the Wild in the overall standings. The Ducks and the Islanders both lost their game in hand in regulation and remain one back in the points column. Tampa’s win last night puts the Bolts up 3 with 3 to play and they lead the ROW tiebreaker by 3. Carolina owns the 2nd tiebreaker. Edmonton’s loss last night means that Carolina can finish no lower than 28th overall.
Games of significance tonight include Canes at Senators, Islanders at Devils, Leafs at Sabres, Thrasherjets at Panthers, Wild at Predators and Ducks at Canucks.