Red Wings have 10 games left in the tank-athon -- time to finish strong

#LoseForHughes, #LoseForHughes, and yes, #LoseForHughes

Assistant coach for the Detroit Red Wings Dan Bylsma regroups his team in the third period in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings have 10 games remaining on their 2018-19 schedule. 

That's 10 games left in the race to the bottom.

As Tankathon points out, the Red Wings currently sit in 29th place, giving them an 11.5 percent chance of grabbing the 1st overall pick in this year's NHL Draft Lottery. Second-to-last place has a 13.5 percent shot at the 1st overall pick while last place team has an 18.5 percent chance at it. 

To recap:

  • Last place gets the Cadillac Eldorado (Jack Hughes).
  • Second-to-last place gets the set of steak knives. 
  • And everyone else is fired. 

I'm real sorry if you don't get the reference. 

Here are the remaining 10 games:

March 19, 2019 @ New York Rangers (7 p.m.)  
March 21, 2019 @ St. Louis (8 p.m.)  
March 23, 2019 @ Vegas (10 p.m.)  
March 25, 2019 @ San Jose (10:30 p.m.)  
March 28, 2019  @ Buffalo (7 p.m.)  
March 29, 2019  vs. New Jersey (7:30 p.m.)  
March 31, 2019 vs. Boston (7:30 p.m.)  
April 2, 2019 vs. Pittsburgh (7:30 p.m.)  
April 4, 2019 @ Pittsburgh (7 p.m.)  
April 6, 2019 vs. Buffalo (7 p.m.)  

 

OK, don't screw this up now by winning. GM Ken Holland keeps using words like "stay competitive" and be "competitive on a nightly basis" so that the young players in the lineup can gain "experience." Sure, sure, that's nice. But let's just call it like it is: It's time to throw in the towel and tank for the best draft pick available. We all want this rebuilding process to speed up. 

This is not something you want to tell your kids, but this is the harsh reality of professional sports, especially when leagues start actual draft lotteries to keep us even more entertained by the losers.

Anyway, here's what the race to the bottom of the NHL looks like as of Monday afternoon:

31. Ottawa Senators --> Colorado Avalanche 56 points 25 ROW
30. Los Angeles Kings 58 points 23 ROW
29. Detroit Red Wings 60 points 22 ROW
28. New Jersey Devils 63 points 25 ROW
27. Anaheim Ducks 69 points 27 ROW

 

The Red Wings have 22 regulation/overtime wins, which is great in this tank race. You don't want to win, but if you do win it better be in a shootout. 

If the Ottawa Senators stay in last place, then the Colorado Avalanche will get that top pick as part of the Matt Duchene trade. That means the Red Wings have to do the right thing and go, I don't know, maybe like 1-9 in these next 10 games to ensure they are crowned the NHL's worst. Maybe they can beat Buffalo once, just to make it look like they're still trying.

Otherwise, I think that's a pretty strong remaining schedule with two games against the Pittsburgh Penguins who are fighting for a playoff spot. The biggest challenge for the Red Wings will be playing teams like San Jose late in the season when they probably won't be blocking shots or finishing checks -- they're in the playoffs and there is no need to risk injuries. It's going to be harder to lose those games, unfortunately. 

But remember, as we've all been saying over and over, and over, again -- all season long -- this is about losing for Jack Hughes -- that really talented 17-year-old center currently playing for the U.S. National Development Team in Plymouth. He has 40 points in 20 games this season, no big deal. 

If Detroit fails to land that top pick, they have some other options to consider including big right winger Kaapo Kakko out of Finland.

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