Monday, April 2, 2007

The 'Race' For Last!

1) With all the understandable attention given to all the playoff races in each conference we decided to look upon another race that has fallen a little under the radar; The Race to finish last. Of course the Flyers have clinched that distinction long ago, but with the lottery used to determine draft order that doesn't guarantee them the best pick. The worse you finish though the more of a chance a team has to get that # 1 overall. It almost appears that the (Non-Flyer) bottom 5-6 teams want to finish second to last and have been playing like it!
2) With that in mind here are the records in reverse order of their last 10 games of the teams 'fighting' for that coveted 2nd to worst spot:

  • Phoenix Coyotes: (63 points) 2-6-2. Started dreadfully, but seemed to have turned it around after the holidays to the point that they actually felt that they were in the playoff hunt. However the past month they seem content to be door mats of the west. TGO/Phoenix management can't be pleased with this showing. Mike Barnett will probably be the fall guy. If Gretzky weren't an owner he'd of been fired long ago
  • Washington Crapitals: (66 points) 2-6-2. Almost looked respectable the first 3 months of the season. Since the New year they have resumed sucking. The past month have been worst team in the league. Its reached a point where star wing Alex Ovechkin recently had a locker room melt down smashing sticks, etc. At least he seems to care about the losing. Is management as concerned? We'll find out this summer.
  • Los Angeles Kings: (66 points) 4-5-1 Of the bottom feeder teams have played the best. A decent group of youngsters that coach Mark Crawford has playing better the second half
  • Chicago Blackhawks: (67 points) 3-7-0 Another dreadful year in Shy-town. Even Denis Savard couldn't change their losing ways. Its 46 years and counting! No end in sight.
  • Edmonton Oilers: (69 points) 1-8-1 The defending West champs? Until the trade deadline had a legit shot to make playoffs. Since Smyth trade have tanked BIG TIME! McTavish looked as coach of the year candidate during the first half, now may be in jeopardy of losing his position
  • Columbus Blue Jackets: (71 points) 5-5 Have actually played better recently, but another year of no playoffs in Ohio's biggest city should mean their GM McLean should lose his job. Ken Hitchcock though has earned another season behind the bench.

3) The lone East team, the Caps have an 'advantage' the others don't; they don't play the other 'competing' teams, where points have to be awarded to someone. So they are our 'favourite to come in second to last.

4) With all this losing the NHL should take the advice of us at FAUXRUMORS and do away entirely the notion that losing should be rewarded with a high draft choice. As we noted in our post the draft should totally be determined with a lottery for ALL TEAMS regardless of placement in the standings. This would for once and for all eliminate teams 'tanking it' or the appearance of tanking it down the stretch.


B_Washington said...

I disagree with you that there should be a lottery for all teams. While I dislike the new draft system because it rewards the playoff underachievers, I think that the worst teams should have the opportunity for the most talented players.

It is in the NHL's best interest to have teams cycle in and out of the playoffs fairly regularly. It's also better for the best players to go to the worst teams where they will get the most playing time, and have the best opportunity to develop their skills.

While there are franchises that squander that opportunity (Chicago, Boston, Columbus) there are many franchises that are taking advantage of those high draft picks, (Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Nashville).

Without cycling playoff teams every year, fan activity becomes stagnant as the fans of losing teams become dissillusioned (Chicago, Columbus), and the fans of winning teams become arrogant and complacent (Red Wings, Devils).

Having a weighted draft helps that cycling process and keep more fans interested in the game.


1) We can see the opposing view point about the draft process, but believe that the current lottery system still rewards teams futility the last month of the season
2) Teams like Detroit and New Jersey have thrived even without a high drat picks for a decade or more. Well managed teams don't need the crutch of picking in the top 5.

jmol2112 said...

Hey faux I'm no big fan of this system either, but its probably better than any other option. Unless you have another idea. Other than your 30 team lottery system which will NEVER happen

B_Washington said...

I agree with you there, that well managed teams don't need that crutch. And well managed teams will always be better no matter how much you try to even things out (see the NFL for an example teams like the Colts, Patriots, Broncos, Steelers are contending every year and teams like the Lions, Carinals and others are losers every year, despite everyone's best efforts.)

I think there's a better solution to it than giving everyone an equal chance...maybe giving each of the bottom 5 teams a 12% in landing the top pick, the next 5 worst teams a 6% chance and the last 5 non-playoff teams a 2% chance.

There will still be a little tanking, trying to get into that bottom 5, but teams who are already firmly there will try to win, because there's no reason not to.


1) It appears Mr. B_Washington and FAUXRUMORS were on the same wave length on this one. His option of NOT giving ANY of he bottom 5 teams an advantage in the lottery was going to be our idea also to disincentivize losing.
2) If the NHL needs/wants a lottery we feel this is the best way to reduce this alarming trend while allowing the poor teams access to the best young talent

Antzmarching said...

The Kings have suffered dramatically with the loss of "team asshole," Sean Avery... They haven't shot any pucks into open nets, as the result of Avery crashing into goalies and taking them out of the play... He USED to be penalized for the move in LA, but now its condoned in MSG...

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