Saturday Tank Watch: Your open thread for tonight's NHL Draft Lottery hopefuls

Previews, game times, and ideal results for the lottery games on Saturday, February 20.

The Canadiens entertained us with an exciting overtime period last night, and Mike Condon helped them win in a shootout.

As far as the tank goes, the win wasn't a complete loss. They didn't add to their ROW total, and allowed the Philadelphia Flyers to take a point.

With the win, Montreal still sits well back of a playoff position, six points from the Pittsburgh Penguins in eighth, with two more games played. They are just as far out of 27th overall and claiming the fourth-highest odds for the first draft lottery (9.5%), with the 28th-place Columbus Blue Jackets charging up the board.

The Carolina Hurricanes won once again last night, and maintain their place just out of a playoff spot where they've been for several weeks.

That late-season charge by the Jackets was halted by Robin Lehner and the Buffalo Sabres, who earned a 4-0 shutout and are now the second-hottest non-playoff team over their last 10 games.

The Vancouver Canucks have been the worst team in the NHL recently, going 2-7-1 in their last ten, and extending a losing streak to four games with a 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames on Friday night.

Here are today's games featuring the teams sitting more than one spot outside of a playoff position:

7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST

Philadelphia Flyers @ Toronto Maple Leafs

Records: PHI: 25-22-11 / TOR: 20-27-9
Positions: PHI: 11th in Eastern Conference; 20th overall / TOR: 16th in East; 30th overall
Ideal result: At this stage, a point from Toronto would be a miracle
How to watch: CBC, GameCentre Live/ (Free)
The Flyers own playoff hopes took a hit in their loss last night, but still managed a point, and, unlike the Canadiens, haven't used up extra games so far. They can get two points closer with a win tonight.

That should be relatively easy versus a Toronto team that can't score. With Leo Komarov, at 97th, suspended for tonight's game, and Tyler Bozak, 141st, also out of the lineup, the most dangerous offensive player the Flyers will face is the 150th-ranked P.A. Parenteau.

Here's a video from the Maple Leafs' practice earlier today:

Ottawa Senators

Visitors: Detroit Red Wings
Record: 27-26-6
Position: 13th in East; 23rd overall
Ideal result: Overtime win for OTT
How to watch: City, TVA Sports

The Ottawa Senators take on Daniel Alfredsson's old team tonight. They can jump ahead of Montreal with a point, and extend their win streak to three games with a full complement of two.

Winnipeg Jets

Host: Florida Panthers
Record: 25-28-4
Position: 13th in Western Conference; 27th overall
Ideal result: Win for WPG
How to watch: Sportsnet E/O/W/P/Now

Winnipeg can jump over three idle teams with a win and sit just four points back of Montreal. The Florida Panthers have the worst record of the eight current Eastern Conference playoff teams over their last 10 contests, so that won't be an impossible feat.

9:00 PM EST / 6:00 PM PST

Arizona Coyotes

Visitors: St. Louis Blues
Record: 27-24-6
Position: 10th in West; 21st overall
Ideal result: Win for ARI
How to watch: GameCentre Live/
Their win over Montreal extended to a two-game win streak with the Arizona Coyotes' surprising 6-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday. Confidence will be high as they try to knock off another of the Central Division's top teams on Saturday night. Arizona can jump Minnesota to sit in night place in the West, and a mere two points out of a playoff position.

10:00 PM EST / 7:00 PM PST

Edmonton Oilers

Visitors: Colorado Avalanche
Record: 22-31-6
Position: 14th in West; 29th overall
Ideal result: Overtime win for EDM
How to watch: CBC, Sportsnet E/O/W/P/Now

The Edmonton Oilers have won better than half of the games they've played at Rexall Place this season. For that statement to still be true tomorrow, they will need to snap a two-game skid and come up with a win versus the sliding Colorado Avalanche.

Top of comments section | Top of article | Homepage