clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Race to the Bottom of the Sea

Welcome to cheering for draft position

2021 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Christopher Mast/2021 NHLI via Getty Images

It’s the most exciting time of the year. Checking the standings every day, watching game scores each evening, rooting for certain opponents to win one night but lose the next. Such is the life of a fan of a lottery team. While the unfortunate fans of teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning or Florida Panthers are forced to watch week after week of post-season hockey, we Kraken fans have an opportunity to relax, enjoy the warming weather as spring turns toward summer, with only the single night of “The Lottery” itself taking up our attention before the draft.

The Best Odds are Not the BEST Odds

Something to be aware of is the fact that the team on the bottom of the standings doesn’t always win the top pick. Just as the Kraken were fortunate enough to move up to 2nd slot last summer, they could easily move down multiple positions if the lotto gods are unkind. Which they often are. Dynasties have been built on the back of these lottery wins, such as the Chicago Blackhawks winning the right to select Patrick Kane.

2007 NHL Entry Draft Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

James Van Riemsdyk has been a solid player his whole career, but Philadelphia’s past decade-and-a-half could look markedly different if they had selected first overall in 2007. All that indicates that blowing things up at the deadline isn’t the key to success. Many teams have tried the tactic, sending talent to other cities in an attempt to guarantee losses in the back half of their season. Notably, the Buffalo Sabres went scorched earth, in an attempt to win the services of Connor McDavid at the 2015 draft. Not only were they unsuccessful, but the air of disappointment surrounding the consolation prize of Jack Eichel was almost definitely a contributing factor in the long-term fracturing of that relationship between player and team.

Embrace the Voodoo That You Do

Maybe you have a lucky shirt. Or a game day meal. But whatever your personal superstition may be, you should fully embrace it. It might feel funny, hoping for Grubauer to let one by late in the third, or that Ebs misses on a breakaway, but the team needs the boost that a young potential superstar could bring to Climate Pledge Arena, so don’t worry about the karma involved with hoping for losses.

2021 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Christopher Mast/2021 NHLI

It may feel equally strange to believe, without question, that the Arizona Coyotes can run the table in the last two weeks of their season, playing 7 games in only 12 nights, but you gotta believe. Hope springs eternal, and there’s a bunch of AHL players on that roster who are looking to get noticed, by the Coyotes or some other NHL team. And what better way than by putting up 7 against the Carolina Hurricanes on an April Monday in Glendale, AZ.

As we’ll all find ourselves with some free time when the regular season ends, I highly recommend wasting an hour or two on the website known as Tankathon. It does all the math based on the team’s current standings position, and with each click you can simulate the joyous heights of winning the number one pick, or the horrendous lows of falling all the way down to fifth (currently). Embrace the suck, there’s always next year, and Seattle still has a more recent Cup win than the Canucks.