Montreal Canadiens Not Getting Help From Rangers in Bid for Last Overall

Nov 16, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Montreal Canadiens center Jake Evans. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 16, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Montreal Canadiens center Jake Evans. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports /

The Montreal Canadiens sit last overall with just two games to play this season.

They have just 51 points in 80 games played, and are two points back of the Arizona Coyotes for the 31st best record in the NHL this season.

The difference is not enormous, but the chances of getting the first overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft are higher for the team with the worst overall record than the team with the second worst record.

Whoever finishes last in the regular season standings will have a 25.5% chance of selecting first overall when the draft takes place on July 7th in Montreal at the Bell Centre. The team that finishes with the second worst record only has a 13.5% chance of selecting first overall. It is far from a guarantee for anyone to get the top pick, but with the Canadiens this close to getting the best odds, you kind of have to hope for it at this point.

It is also worth noting that there are two lotteries held for the top two picks in the draft. That means, with some bad luck, any team could fall two places lower than their regular season finish after the lottery occurs.

So, the team with the worst record is guaranteed a top three pick while the next worst team could fall to 4th. Again, shouldn’t be franchise altering stuff, but if the Habs are going to be this bad for a whole season, you want them to end up with Shane Wright, the best prospect available in the draft.

However, the New York Rangers aren’t going to make it easy on them. With a regulation time loss tonight, the Habs would clinch the worst record in the NHL standings.

But the Rangers have already clinched their playoff ticket and are locked into second overall in the Metropolitan Division. Teams that already know their playoff seeding can either rest top players to get ready for the playoffs, or use the final games as a tune-up for the postseason.

The Rangers clearly don’t see the Canadiens as a good tune-up matchup. They are sitting half a dozen of their best players to get rest.

Out of the lineup tonight for the Rangers are Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Andrew Copp, Adam Fox and Jacob Trouba.

That’s essentially their top two defenders and perhaps their four best forwards. They are also sitting Vezina and Hart Trophy contending goaltender Igor Shesterkin for Alexander Georgiev.

This should make it a little easier on the Canadiens tonight, which is not ideal for their quest for the first overall pick.

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