Now that we've got that out of the way, welcome to the last few games of the 2012 NHL regular season, or as Wild fans know it... sweet release from this interminable season. Also, it is the kick off of the official crazy trade and draft scenario season. Woo!
As we all know, the Wild got knocked down... well, they've decided to get back up again prior to the end of the season, which has translated to a little volatility in my chart. After the break, let's take a look at the current standings, offer up some thoughts, and then we can get to the fun of debating.
Key: Draft Position : Team : Games Played : Total Points : Last 10 Record : Remaining Games
1. Columbus (-) : 79gp : 61pts (+6) : 5-5-0 : @Pho - @Colo - NYI
2. Montreal (-) : 79gp : 73pts (+2) : 2-3-5 : Tamp - @Car - Tor
3. Edmonton (-) : 80gp : 73pts (+2) : 5-3-2 : Anah - @Van
4. NY Islanders (+1) : 79gp : 77pts (+4) : 5-4-1 : @NJ - Winni - @Colu
5. Anaheim (+2) : 79gp : 77pts (+2) : 4-5-1 : @Van - @Edm - @Calg
6. Toronto (+2) : 79gp : 77pts (+2) : 4-5-1 : @Buff - Tamp - @Mon
7. Carolina (-1) : 79gp : 78pts (+3) : 5-4-1 : @Ott - Mon - @Fla
8. WILD (-4) : 79gp : 78pts (+6) : 5-5-0 : @Nash - Chi - Pho
9. Winnipeg (+1) : 79gp : 81pts (+3) : 4-5-1 : @Fla - @NYI - Tamp
10. Tampa Bay (-1) : 79gp : 81pts (+6) : 5-5-0 : @Mon - @Tor - @Winni
There you have it, the Wild currently sit in the 8th draft spot, which is oddly what I predicted for them about 2 months ago. The highest the Wild could draft at this point, no counting a lottery win, is the 3rd pick, and the lowest they could pick, based on record, is the 10th pick. Most likely, the Wild will pick somewhere between 4th and 10th. The games in BOLD are games (teams both around the Wild in the chart) that impact more than one team related to the Wild's final standing. The teams in the 4th pick to 8th pick range are separated only by a single point, and the Wild has only 3 points fewer than both the 9th and 10th teams.
The Wild play two certain and one likely playoff team. Everyone else in the bottom 10 seem to be playing each other, 1, 2, or even 3 games. So, there could still be a lot of volatility.
So, prediction time... what draft pick does the Wild end up with based on their season finish? (3rd to 10th)
Related question... how do you think the Wild will fare over the last 3 games?
Who do you think will end up leading the team in goals for the season?
Strange Brew, anyone?