Another Detroit Red Wings season is wrapping up without so much as a whiff of ending their six-year playoff drought, and change seems inevitable.
Jeff Blashill, Wings coach for the past seven seasons, might be at the end of the road with the franchise, with our Helene St. James writing Saturday was likely his final home game on the bench. General manager Steve Yzerman wraps up his third year on the job and has seen progress — the Wings were 22-21-6 in mid-February — become stagnation with too many poor efforts and blowout defeats. Detroit is 9-18-4 since Feb. 14. Change is on the horizon.
And yet the conclusion of the regular season — 30 of the 32 teams finish Friday — brings the annual gift that is the NHL draft lottery, set for May 10 (6:30 p.m., ESPN) at NHL Network in Secaucus, New Jersey. The lottery consists of the 16 teams that miss the playoffs.
LESSONS LEARNED: What 3 years in charge of Wings shows about GM Steve Yzerman’s plan
The 2022 NHL entry draft is scheduled for July 7-8 in Montreal, with forward Shane Wright of the Ontario Hockey League’s Kingston Frontenacs as the consensus No. 1 pick.
This year’s lottery sees the affects of two key changes ratified by the league a year ago: There are only two drawings; teams can only move up 10 spots.
The 14 teams not selected in the lottery will be assigned draft selections 3-16, in inverse order of regular-season points.
The Red Wings, currently eighth in the lottery standings, have two games remaining — at Toronto on Tuesday and at New Jersey on Friday — and are guaranteed to be in the top 11 entering the lottery, so the “move up” rule won’t affect their ability to make a jump into the top two, should the ping pong balls fall their way.
If the Wings stay at No. 8 in the standings through the final week here, they’d enter the lottery with 12.4% odds to pick in the top two and guaranteed a top-10 selection. Their odds at each pick if they remain eighth:
The Wings could get as high as No. 7 entering the lottery if Ottawa were to pass them this week. The Senators have three games left, with the big game Tuesday vs. New Jersey, before finishing vs. Florida and at Philadelphia.
Here’s a look at the top 11 of the 16-team draft lottery standings entering Monday:
Rank, Team, Pts, No. 1 odds
1. Montreal, 51, 18.5%
2. Arizona, 51, 13.5%
3. Seattle, 58, 11.5%
4. Philadelphia, 61, 9.5%
5. New Jersey, 62, 8.5%
6. Columbus (from Chicago), 63, 7.5%
7. Ottawa, 69, 6.5%
8. Detroit, 72, 6%
9. Buffalo, 73, 5%
10. Anaheim, 74, 3.5%
11. San Jose, 76, 3%
Buffalo won last year’s lottery and selected Owen Power at No. 1.
The lottery has not been kind to the Wings in the Yzerman era, though they have done well in the draft. The Wings in 2021 entered the lottery sixth (7.6% chance at No. 1) and stayed at No. 6, taking Swedish defender Simon Edvinsson in the draft. The Wings in 2020 had the best odds at No. 1, but fell to fourth, where they took Lucas Raymond, and in 2019 entered the lottery fourth and dropped to No. 6, taking Moritz Seider.
Scheduling tidbits of importance to the Red Wings: Buffalo, on a four-game win streak, is at Boston on Thursday and home to Chicago on Friday.
San Jose has three games left and hosts Anaheim on Tuesday. Red Wings fans should root for the visiting Ducks.
Editor’s note: We will update the standings each morning through the conclusion of the season.
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