As is typical of this ever-lazy blogger, I really don't know much about the prize of this year's entry draft, Nail Yakupov, but I have heard plenty the slogan "Fail for Nail". As such, I decided to look a bit at how the race is going for the draft lottery's bottom five, and trust me -- Anaheim's trending very well in these standings.
The table below shows the eight teams currently below .500 and how their home and road records project out for a full 82-game season. I've highlighted tonight's two opponents; you'll note that the Islanders currently have fewer points than the Oilers, but Edmonton's such a horrible road team that they calculate to one fewer standings point by the end of a full schedule. Still, it's a tight race.
2011-12 "Fail For Nail" Projected Standings
(Home and Road records prorated to 41 games each)
|Proj. Finish||Team||GP||Current Record||Pts||Home Rec.||Proj. Home Pts||Road Rec.||Proj. Road Pts||Total Proj. Points|
|30||Columbus Blue Jackets||39||10-24-5||25||6-11-3||31||4-13-2||22||53|
|26||New York Islanders||37||14-17-6||34||8-9-3||39||6-8-3||36||75|
|24||Tampa Bay Lightning||39||17-19-3||37||11-5-0||56||6-14-3||27||83|
By this table's math, it looks like the Blue Jackets have the inside track on Yakupov, but it's certainly not in the bag. Let's not forget, Columbus started its season 0-7-1 but has played .387 hockey since. Anaheim started its season 4-1-0 and has played .273 hockey since (.286 in 14 games under Coach Kirby). If those latter win percentages keep up, the Ducks might end up in prime lottery position with as many as eight standings points to spare. Nail could easily be ours!
Tonight's game could alter the projected standings a bit, though -- one of these awful teams is guaranteed two points:
- An ANA regulation win would push the Ducks up to 58 projected points, and the loss would propel the Islanders past the Oilers by a point.
- An ANA overtime or shootout win would push the Ducks up to 58 points, and the Islanders would remain idle.
- A NYI regulation win would drop the Ducks down to 54 projected points, just 1 behind Columbus, while the Islanders would drop out of the bottom five.
- A NYI overtime or shootout win would keep the Ducks idle as the Islanders drop out of the bottom five.
- Also, the Hurricanes host the Sabres -- their projection swings two points either way depending on that game's outcome.
So, regardless of outcomes tonight, the Ducks will still sit second in the "Fail For Nail" standings tomorrow morning, but with a regulation loss we'd certainly put some pressure on Columbus! :)
I'm watching tonight's game on DVR delay, so have fun without me -- this game could legitimately go either way, I guess.
Prediction: A real Nail-biter. :)