Not much has gone right for the Blackhawks this season, so maybe they’re due for some good luck.
The NHL released the odds for this year’s draft lottery on Wednesday. Based on the standings entering Saturday’s play, the Blackhawks are in a three-way tie for the league’s seventh-worst record and a 6.5 percent chance of landing the first overall pick via the lottery if they finished there alone. The Sabres, with the league’s worst record, have an 18.5 percent chance to get the No. 1 selection.
Here are the lottery odds, starting with the team that finishes last overall: 1. 18.5 percent; 2. 13.5 percent; 3. 11.5 percent; 4. 9.5 percent; 5. 8.5 percent; 6. 7.5 percent; 7. 6.5 percent; 8. 6 percent; 9. 5 percent; 10. 3.5 percent; 11. 3 percent; 12. 2.5 percent; 13. 2 percent; 14. 1.5 percent; 15. 1 percent.
The lottery takes place April 28 in Toronto. There will be three separate draws — one for each of the top three slots. Last year, the Devils had the fifth-worst record in the league and an 8.5 percent chance of getting the top pick. They won the lottery and drafted Swiss center Nico Hischier first overall. Hischier has 18 goals and 31 assists in 76 games this season.
Erik Johnson at No. 1 in 2006, the same year the Blackhawks drafted Jonathan Toews at No. 3.
Highs and lows: After finishing with the best record in the Western Conference last season, the Hawks find themselves in last place in the Central Division and out of the playoffs.
That sort of free fall isn’t as uncommon as one might think. In fact, this is the third time in four seasons that a team has gone from the top of the conference to playoff elimination the following year.
Bruins topped the East and the entire NHL with 117 points in 2013-14, then slipped to 96 points and fell just short of the postseason qualifying line, finishing two points behind the Penguins for the final wild-card spot.
Goalie shuffle: When rookie Collin Delia had to make an emergency start against the Jets on Thursday and then had to be relieved by super-emergency backup Scott Foster, they became the fifth and sixth goalies the Hawks have used this season, joining Corey Crawford, Anton Forsberg, Jeff Glass and J.F. Berube. The last time they had to employ six goalies was 2003-04, when they used Michael Leighton, Craig Anderson, Jocelyn Thibault, Steve Passmore, Adam Munro and Matt Underhill. The Hawks managed only 59 points that season and finished last in the conference.