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The NHL Trade Deadline is the last pit stop before the tanking gauntlet begins: Draft Lottery Watch

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Photo credit:© Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Lachlan Irvine
1 month ago
I’ve got two words for you: Trade. Deadline.
The trade deadline is the final exit ramp on the tanking highway before the final destination. How teams find their way deeper into the abyss will be decided merely by who remains on the roster and who stays the healthiest.
A lot of players from the top eleven in the lottery race have already made big moves — such as Timo Meier and Dmitry Orlov — with lots of names still on the board for the right price. Patrick Kane, Erik Karlsson, Jakob Chychrun, and Vladislav Gavrikov are all still available, while the Canucks may be on the verge of making quite a few more deals before Friday.
Needless to say, there’s a lot on the line for the teams on our list this week, including the Canucks. Every one of these clubs is going to be extremely active ahead of the noon deadline, which makes the points on the line over the next five days all the more valuable.
Given the gap in quality between the Eastern and Western Conferences, the odds of the five western teams picking up points they don’t want could get a bit higher, giving Columbus a big advantage heading into the home stretch.
So let’s take a look at how things stack up before the most crucial week of the season.
The Standings
#TeamRecordPts.GROdds#1 OVRChange
1Columbus Blue Jackets19-35-6442218.50%25.50%▲2
2Anaheim Ducks20-34-7472113.50%13.50%▼1
3Chicago Blackhawks21-33-5472411.50%11.50%
4San Jose Sharks18-30-1248229.50%9.50%
5Arizona Coyotes20-30-949238.50%8.50%▲6
6Vancouver Canucks24-31-553227.50%7.50%▼5
7Montreal Canadiens25-30-454236.50%6.50%
8Philadelphia Flyers23-28-1056216.00%6.00%
9St. Louis Blues26-28-557235.00%5.00%
10Ottawa Senators29-26-462233.50%3.50%
11Washington Capitals29-27-664203.00%3.00%▲NR
Lottery odds courtesy of tankathon.com.
Canucks Breakdown
The Canucks had a bit of a stumble in their quest for the best lottery odds this week, picking up five out of a possible eight points thanks to successful road trips to Nashville, St. Louis and now Dallas. If not for a Boston Bruins goaltender scoring an empty net goal, the outlook would be a lot worse.
The Canucks may have dropped out of the top five again thanks to a pair of losses by the Coyotes, but a lot has gone well for them this week on the out-of-town scoreboard. The Blue Jackets, Ducks and Blackhawks have all won a few games of late, and the distance between Vancouver and the number-one spot has never looked more reachable.
The difference between the Canucks and second-place Anaheim is now just a measly six points. The Canucks could very easily close that gap this week with two playoff teams on the schedule, including a road matchup with the Minnesota Wild and a home date against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The goal for the Canucks this week will be to maintain pace with the likes of the Blackhawks and Coyotes, and they might already be leaning into that plan. In addition to Luke Schenn being a healthy scratch for trade-related purposes, the Canucks also announced today that J.T. Miller is out week-to-week with an injury, although rumours are floating around that his absence might be trade-related too.
Games of the Week
(5) Coyotes vs. (3) Blackhawks – Tuesday, 6:00 PM
The Coyotes are currently two points ahead of the Canucks again, but they could easily regain those points if the Hawks come to the ASU campus undermanned. But that hasn’t stopped Chicago from rattling off a current five-game win streak.
(4) Sharks vs. (7) Canadiens – Tuesday, 7:30 PM
The Sharks have found ways to earn a few points here and there, but without Timo Meier, things could start to unravel quickly. But as long as Erik Karlsson is in the lineup San Jose could find a way against the injured to heck Canadiens.
(2) Ducks vs. (7) Canadiens – Friday, 7:00 PM
The Ducks have already picked up a crucial win over Chicago this week, and the Canadiens will be on their third game in four nights on the Pacific time zone. If there’s ever a chance for Anaheim to chip away at their hefty points gap, it’s here.
(10) Senators vs. (1) Blue Jackets – Saturday, 4:00 PM
On Sunday, the Blue Jackets blew their chance at a crucial extra point against Kirill Kaprizov and the Minnesota Wild. The trade deadline is only going to make things more challenging for Columbus, but the Senators are a team that can fall apart at any given point.
THE DAILY FACEOFF TRADE DEADLINE SHOW
Join us on March 3rd for the Daily Faceoff Live: Trade Deadline edition as Frank Seravalli and the panel break down all of the latest rumours, news, and rumblings from around the NHL. The show will be live on YouTubeFacebook, and Twitter from 9 AM-1 PM PT to keep you up to date on all things trade deadline no matter where you’re watching from.

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