Good morning, Philadelphia Flyers fans.
If you are still reading about the Orange and Black after this disaster of a season, congrats! You are a true diehard.
Maybe this season will make it even sweeter when the day finally arrives — hopefully around 2025 — and the Flyers are legitimate Stanley Cup contenders.
That’s the hope, anyway.
The Flyers have two games left — Wednesday in Winnipeg, Friday against visiting Ottawa — and except for giving the kids some experience, there’s not much importance in the matchups.
Except for this: They will help determine where the Flyers finish in the overall standings and what their odds will be in the May 10 draft lottery. There will be ping-pong ball drawings for the first and second picks. A team can only jump 10 spots in the drawings.
Realistically, the Flyers will finish with the fourth- or fifth-worst point total. The lower the point total, the higher the chance to win the draft lottery.
The Flyers (61 points) are two points behind New Jersey (63). If teams finish with the same number of points, the first tie-breaker is regulation wins (RW). The Flyers have 20, New Jersey has 19, which may not work in Philly’s favor.
As things stand, Here are the bottom six teams and what’s ahead for them:
32. Montreal: 51 points, two games left — at New York Rangers, Florida.
Odds to win lottery, per Tankathon: 18.5%.
Comment: The Habs have 14 regulation wins, compared to Arizona’s 17 and are likely to finish with the best draft-lottery odds. Montreal has lost nine straight to get to the bottom of the pack.
31: Arizona: 53 points, two games left — at Dallas, Nashville.
Odds to win draft lottery: 13.5%.
Comment: The Coyotes are guaranteed to finish with the worst or, more likely, second-worst record.
30. Seattle: 58 points, three games left –Los Angeles, San Jose, at Winnipeg.
Odds to win draft lottery: 11.5%.
Comment: The Kraken figure to finish with the third-worst record in their first season. They have one more win than the Flyers.
29. Flyers: 61 points, two games left — at Winnipeg, Ottawa.
Odds to win draft lottery: 9.5%. (For what it’s worth, I ran tankathon’s draft lottery 100 times. The Flyers got the first pick eight times.)
Comment: The Flyers would finish with the sixth-worst record if they won their final two games and Chicago lost its last two. Chicago has 16 regulation wins to the Flyers’ 20.
Cooley, a 5-10, 180-pounder, is a Pittsburgh native who has put up big numbers for the U.S. National Team Development Program. He is headed to the University of Minnesota.
McKeen’s Hockey lists him as the draft’s No. 4 overall prospect.
28. New Jersey: 63 points, two games left — at Carolina, Detroit.
Odds to win draft lottery: 8.5%.
Comment: The Devils will finish anywhere from fourth-worst to sixth-worst.
27. Chicago: 65 points, two games left — Vegas, at Buffalo.
Odds to win draft lottery: 7.5%.
Comment: The Blackhawks’ 3-1 win Monday over the Philadelphia Flyers probably will give Philly a better draft pick.