The fan bases of the Chicago Bears and Blackhawks are in other places proper now.
Bears followers: jubilation.
Hawks followers: trepidation.
Bears followers are celebrating the staff’s commerce haul — two first-round draft picks, two second-rounders and former Carolina Panthers receiver D.J. Moore — in change for the NFL’s No. 1 draft choose.
Hawks followers are sweating out every win or shut loss, realizing that the NHL’s No. 1 choose — and consensus favourite Connor Bedard — isn’t safe. Far from it.
The Hawks have stiff competitors for one of the best lottery odds for the highest spot with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who’ve had the league’s worst file since Feb. 23. But others have lately entered the combo. The San Jose Sharks changed the Hawks because the league’s second-worst staff, and now the Anaheim Ducks are nipping on the Hawks’ heels.
Before the season, it was a foregone conclusion the Hawks and Arizona Coyotes would battle it out for the underside of the standings and one of the best odds within the draft lottery for the No. 1 choose.
After all, each rosters have been presupposed to be bereft of expertise and the groups might tank with out showing to tank. And definitely after the commerce deadline, anybody who might put up a battle seemed to have been shipped elsewhere.
But it hasn’t turned out that approach.
The Coyotes are sixth from final with a 24-32-11 file (. 440 factors proportion) by means of Monday’s video games with solely 15 video games remaining. The Hawks are third from the underside at 22-38-6 (. 379).
On Tuesday, the Hawks will host the Boston Bruins, the highest Stanley Cup contender with a league-leading 50-10-5 file. The Hawks have been presupposed to be vastly outmatched by each opponent they’ve confronted this month, and whereas they’ve gone 1-4-1, the general aim differential is simply minus-4 (19-15).
Someone forgot to provide the stripped-down Hawks the script.
Take the final two street video games.
On Friday night time, the Florida Panthers had a 73% win chance, in response to FiveThirtyEight, however they needed to rally from two objectives right down to scratch out a 4-3 time beyond regulation win over the Hawks.
The following night time, the Tampa Bay Lightning had a 76% win chance, however it took a last-minute snipe by Brayden Point to interrupt a 1-1 tie and pave the best way for a 3-1 Bolts win.
“They’re going to not accept this and that’s the way it should be,” coach Luke Richardson stated of Hawks gamers. “It’s the NHL and so they don’t prefer to lose.
“You don’t want to hear we had a good effort. That gets old after a while.”
Richardson has stated since he took the job that he’s not teaching to lose, and at this level you shouldn’t have any motive to doubt him or the gamers who’ve purchased in.
The gamers might even see these shut losses as heartbreakers, however the entrance workplace definitely can be carefully monitoring the tiebreakers.
If you dive into the numbers, there’s excellent news and unhealthy information.
Of the highest 4 “contenders” for final place, the Hawks profit from having the hardest remaining energy of schedule (0.573) whereas the Ducks have the best (0.540), in response to NHL Stats and Information.
The Blue Jackets have the next-toughest at 0.566. And the Jackets even have yet one more recreation to play (17) than the Hawks (16).
The Sharks have a worse file than the Hawks for now, however they’ve a greater file this season (.421) in opposition to their remaining opponents.
While that bodes effectively for the Hawks, who’re .365 in opposition to their remaining schedule, the Jackets are better-positioned there too (.333).
Based on 1,000 simulations of the rest of season, hockey-reference.com initiatives the Jackets might end comfortably within the cellar with 49 factors within the doubtless worst-case situation. The Hawks’ worst-case projection would tie them with the Sharks and Ducks at 54 factors.
If it will get to tiebreakers, the Ducks have the fewest regulation wins (12) of the bottom-feeders whereas the Hawks, Sharks and Jackets have 14, 14 and 15, respectively.
Moneypuck.com locations the Hawks with the third-best odds (13.6%) of incomes the highest lottery slot, behind the Jackets (19.7%) and Sharks (14%).
Once the ultimate standings are set, the last-place staff can have an 18.5% likelihood of profitable the primary draw. Second by means of fifth place are 13.5%, 11.5%, 9.5% and eight.5%.
There have been two attracts for the lottery the final two seasons, and the last-place staff has retained the No. 1 choose.
If the Hawks can’t land Bedard, the next-best prospect might be Adam Fantilli.
Since 2016, when the NHL held three attracts, a lower-seeded draft slot has acquired the second choose yearly. A pessimist additionally might invent a situation the place the 10-slot restrict for groups ranked thirteenth or later might push the Hawks into fourth or fifth place.
Whatever the projection, the most secure place for the Hawks is the basement.
It’s a uncommon alternative to be in place to draft a generational participant like Bedard, and a few view Fantilli or Matvei Michkov in the identical gentle.
The Hawks have endured loads of painful losses on the scoreboard and on the roster since final summer season.
Beloved gamers corresponding to Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat have been sacrificed for this rebuild, however the largest defeat come draft day can be one loss too few.