The 2018-19 NHL regular season is coming to an end. While playoff hockey is exciting to watch, another battle that is equally as exciting to watch (especially being a fan of the Devils and of the tank) is the battle for the bottom of the standings.
At this point, it appears that the Ottawa Senators have the last place position all wrapped up. They have a measly 52 points (think of that compared to Tampa Bay’s 108 points and still climbing) and will likely not win many of their remaining games. However, since the very bottom spot is essentially clinched. there is a tight race for the other spots on the bottom of the standings.
The Devils, the Ducks, the Kings and the Red Wings are currently in a tank battle. The Devils are playing with what is essentially an AHL lineup. The Kings cannot score goals. The Red Wings cannot win games. The Ducks are just plain unlucky. Currently, the bottom 5 of the NHL standings and point totals look like this:
27. Anaheim Ducks – 63
28. New Jersey Devils – 59
29. Detroit Red Wings – 58
30. Los Angeles Kings – 56
31. Ottawa Senators – 52
There is a purpose to being at the bottom of the standings. That purpose is getting more chances in the draft lottery. Teams with the least number of points get more chances at getting the number one pick. Ideally, that is what the Devils need and want, that number one pick. It wouldn’t be horrible if we got the number two pick, because it’s looking like it’s going to be Jack Hughes as the number one pick and Kaapo Kakko as the number two pick. The Devils desperately need one of them. Not only the Devils, but the other 3 teams need one of them too (again, not including Ottawa because they have the last place position clinched). Side note, if the Ottawa Senators win the draft lottery, their pick goes to the Colorado Avalanche.
The Devils need depth throughout their lineup and there are great prospects that can help with that. First thing though, we have to have a good draft. To have a good draft, we need to lose games and get lucky. I understand, it is not fun to want your team to lose.
It’s not fun to watch your team lose. However, it is necessary. If the Devils have any hopes of once again becoming a respected team in the NHL, the team needs to lose and hope for the number one or two pick in the draft.
Stats: nhl.com; tankathon.com; hockey-reference.com Cover Photo: Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports