With their 4-2 loss against the Florida Panthers and some other help around the league, the Washington Capitals officially entered themselves into the Bedardy Party. Should they win the Draft Lottery, the Capitals will now earn the first overall pick in the draft. It may be the only redeeming thing about missing the postseason.
How did the Caps do it? Well, with their loss against Florida, the Capitals finished the evening with the eighth-fewest standings points in the NHL (77). The Caps now cannot finish better than 11th worst in the league because of Ottawa’s 7-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Ottawa is currently the 12th-worst team in the league.
Ottawa’s victory gave them 83 standings points; the Capitals only have three games remaining in the season. The first NHL tiebreaker is regulation wins. Because Ottawa has 30 regulation wins and the Caps have 26, even if Washington wins out and ties Ottawa in points, the Capitals will have one less regulation victory, meaning the Senators supersede them.
Clinching 11th worst or worser is important because it means the Capitals will have a chance, albeit extremely small, to move up and win the first overall pick in the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery.
The 1st overall pick is awarded by a drawing of ping pong balls. A team can only jump ten spots, so only the top 11 teams are eligible for the 1st pick. If a team in the 12-16 range wins the first drawing, the first pick will remain with the worst team.
If the Capitals finish the season at eighth-worst, their current position, they would have a six percent chance of getting the first pick and drafting Connor Bedard.
At this point, the Capitals will end the season somewhere between the eighth and 11th worst in the NHL. Even though the Capitals could technically tie Philadelphia in standings points for seventh worst (if they lose out and Philly wins out), the Flyers will sit above the Capitals in the standings because of the regulation wins tiebreaker.
The Capitals’ chances of winning the lottery are the following from each of those possible spots.
8th – 6.0%
9th – 5.0%
10th – 3.5%
11th – 3.0%
While some may think it’s impossible to move up that far, it’s worth pointing out that the New York Rangers won the Draft Lottery in 2020 with 2.5 percent odds.
The Capitals are now battling Vancouver, Detroit, and St. Louis in the final week of the season. Whoever is worstest will get more lotto balls. Good luck or maybe, we mean, break a leg?
RMNB is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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