Tuesday Tank Watch: Your open thread for tonight's NHL action
Previews, game times, and ideal results for the lottery games on Tuesday, February 16.
A three-game win streak threatened to derail the tank the Montreal Canadiens have been working on since early December, but two games with six goals allowed in each to teams outside of the playoff bracket have put the Habs back in the lottery conversation once again.
Last night's convincing win by the Arizona Coyotes allowed them to leap over Montreal in the standings. and they now sit just four points out of a playoff spot.
Nearly outpacing the Canadiens descent in recent weeks, the Minnesota Wild replaced their head coach and got a rare win last night, keeping them even with the Coyotes in their bid to see action beyond the second week of April. The win came at the expense of the Vancouver Canucks, who sit two points lower than the Canadiens with a game in hand.
The Calgary Flames scored four goals, but, fortunately for their draft hopes, allowed six to the Anaheim Ducks in a Family Day matinee.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are in sole possession of the best lottery odds, thanks in part to a 7-2 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Montreal now sits 22nd, at the top of a mostly Canadian heap; only two American teams reside in the bottom nine of the standings: the Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets.
This series will focus on any team currently sitting more than one spot outside of a playoff position. Here are today's games featuring the teams meeting that criterion:
7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
Host: New Jersey Devils
Position: 11th in Eastern Conference; 19th overall
Ideal result: Overtime win for PHI
How to watch: GameCentre Live/NHL.tv
The Flyers seem to be treading water in their efforts to make the playoffs, not gaining any ground and using up their games in hand. A recent call-up of fellow Nova Scotian Andrew MacDonald may make the deadline decision to be buyers or sellers a more obvious one.
Winnipeg Jets @ Carolina Hurricanes
Records: WPG: 25-27-3 / CAR: 25-21-10
Positions: WPG: 13th in Western Conference; 26th overall / CAR: 10th in East; 18th overall
Ideal result: Overtime win for WPG
How to watch: TSN3 (Jets region)
The Hurricanes are in a similar position to the Flyers, just outside the playoff picture, but not doing enough to move themselves into the frame.
Winnipeg will be looking for revenge after a home loss to the 'Canes on February 5.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Visitors: Boston Bruins
Position: 15th in East; 28th overall
Ideal result: CBJ wins on a controversial call late in overtime that leads to an on-ice brawl between Claude Julien and John Tortorella
How to watch: TVA Sports
The Blue Jackets are the hottest of all the non-playoff teams, with a 6-0-1 record in their last seven games. They will have a chance to run their point streak to eight straight.
7:30 PM EST / 4:30 PM PST
Buffalo Sabres @ Ottawa Senators
Records: BUF: 23-28-6 / OTT: 25-26-6
Positions: BUF: 14th in East; 27th overall / OTT: 13th in East; 24th overall
Ideal result: Overtime win for BUF, and it's all Mark Stone's fault
How to watch: BellTV, RDS, TSN5 (Senators region)
The Ottawa Senators made a big commitment to the tank, acquiring Dion Phaneuf in an intra-division trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Sens have yet to record a point since the former Leafs captain stepped into the lineup.
The Sabres are on a two-game win streak, and are slowly rising up the standings board.
9:00 PM EST / 6:00 PM PST
Visitors: Anaheim Ducks
Position: 14th in West; 29th overall
Ideal result: A hard-fought game results in a 1-0 overtime win for Edmonton, inspiring the team to a late-season playoff push
How to watch: Sportsnet West (Oilers region)
Not even the addition of Connor McDavid's offence can make the Oilers a respectable team. They have matched Toronto's record over the last 10 games, but sit one point above in 29th place, though the Leafs have played two fewer games.