Tuesday, April 10, 2007

You guys feel a draft in here?

With the playoffs kicking off tomorrow and the Oilers' mangled corpse of a season barely having settled among the shopping carts and medical waste on the North Saskatchewan's silty bottom, Edmonton fans can be excused for feeling a little rudderless these days.

How spoiled last season's run has made us — you'd think all those years of futility leading up to yesteryear's exploits would have prepared us for yet another post-season on the outside looking in, but here we are, gents and lady-gents. Time's stupid parade marches on, on, on, and we are all but spectators standing on the sidelines, uncomfortably shifting our weight from leg to leg, eating our stale popcorn and wondering how long this thing is going to go on because jesus christ this is boring and I really need to find a portapotty.

What? Anyhow, with no more hockey for the Oilers left to play (exc
luding any appearances at the Worlds, of course), now seems like as good a time as any for Oiler fans to start nervously wringing our hands and barking out prospect names like a bunch of seals with Tourette's syndrome in preparation for the draft.

As Mr. Sacamano points out today on the ever-lovin' BoA, the NHL's draft lottery takes place in New York today at 12 p.m. ET, which will determine the picking order for the 14 non-playoff teams.
Since the Oilers finished the season in 25th place (sixth pick overall), the club has a 6.2% chance of nabbing the No. 2 spot, an 80.7% chance of retaining the sixth pick and a ludicrously unnerving 13.1% of dropping down to the seventh pick overall, just for the fun of it. (All numbers courtesy of speeds here; like I would know this off-hand.)

Once we know where we stand, by god, let the speculation fly. Dare we dream of Jakub Voracek, pictured here? Will Cherepanov be available past the top five? Is VanRiemsdyk a go
od fit? Should we grab Alzner, even though the last thing we need in this system is another defensive prospect? HF boards has already started an unsettlingly thorough draft day thread here packed with wild speculation, namedrops for 17-year-old Czechs you've never heard of in your life, and several useful charts such as these:

I implore you to check it.

Also, survey time: with the Oilers out, what are everyone's playoff plans? Watching? Not watching? Half-heartedly cheering for the Islanders? I'm keen to know.

BONUS PLAYOFF RADNESS: The Star reports today that HNIC's first Saturday night playoff will be — surprise! — a giant disappointment to Canadians throughout the country:

CBC had hoped its first traditional Saturday night spot of the playoffs would feature the Ottawa Senators taking on Sidney Crosby's Pittsburgh Penguins. Instead, that game is being played Saturday afternoon to appease NBC, meaning CBC gets the Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils, also known as the short end of the composite stick.
Read the rest here.


Kyle said...

I am going to half-heartedly watch the Penguins-Ottawa series and then wait for the draft.

Andy Grabia said...

I am going to half-heartedly watch the Penguins-Ottawa series and then wait for the draft.

Sounds about right.

Sean said...

I'm going to half-heartedly cheer for the Sens, Wild, and Islanders, and whole-heartedly cheer against Calgary, Vancouver, Anaheim, and Dallas. And yes, I do realize Vancouver plays Dallas during the first round.

Andy Grabia said...

Nothing on TSN. And I see nothing on the world's worst website, NHL.com.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that if the ducks win the cup we get another 1st round pick?

Black Dog said...

if they make it to the final this year or next I think we get their first rounder next year

I'll be watching when I can and cheering on the Thistles from Kenora - the Silver Seven are tough but I think they really have to keep an eye on those Renfrew Millionaires - they're a darkhorse for sure

T. said...

OK is no one in sport broadcasting actually aware of the draft lottery? this is silly.

Aside: The guys who tried to raise Smytty's jersey made it onto Sportsnet's InBox - pictures and video. I am taking a weird pleasure in watching it multiple times.

pevans said...

Oilers will pick sixth. Want a little salt on that wound? The Blackhawks won the lottery to move from 5th to 1st.

sacamano said...

I'll one-quarter-heartedly read the playoff results in the paper, half-heartedly cheer for the Islanders, three-quarters-heartedly cheer for those young bucks in Pittsburgh, and whole-heartedly cheer for my fantasy playoff team.

mike w said...

Well, good for the Hawks. I still think Philly can turn that team around faster than most people think.

Goddamn Oilers.

Andy Grabia said...

Is the girl on Sportsnet's name actually Daru Dhillon? And she's not a player in the NFL?

Anonymous said...

Is schadenfreude the word to describe my feelings about CBC execs being pissed about the Sens/Pens series? It seems to me to make little difference whether I watch Sid the Kid on the Peacock or the Ceeb, and anything that discomfits people that live and work in teedot (T.)? has to have something going for it. As an aside when did Toronto go from T.O. to T dot?

Darien said...

It didn't. The T dot is what them kids who lissen to thum raps musiks calls it likes...

My unfettered love of the Sedin twins allows me to cheer for Vancouver and not risk heartache at the same time. And yeah, go Pens I guess. Pens and Isles.

pevans said...

I still think Philly can turn that team around faster than most people think

Amen to that. Amazing what around $15-million worth of cap space, a temperate climate and a GM who's actually made some astute moves can do for a team in last overall.

Bobby Clarke's still milling about in the shadows, though. Still, I wonder what Vegas is offering on the Flyers making the playoffs next year because I'd be tempted to bet on it. If gambling were legal, I mean.

Anonymous said...

I'll be chering Sabres, Pens, and Sharks. With a good 3/4 or maybe 4/5 of my hockey loving heart. And needless to say I'll be cheering against Ducks, Flames, Stars, Sens and Rangers with a full 4/4 of my hate. But mostly I'll be watching MLB.


Go Jays!!

mike w said...

I suppose I'll cheer for a Canadian team if they make it to the Final Four, although I like Vancouver the least (Naslund, Cooke and the fact that Luongo dropped into their laps for nothing).

Rounding it out, I'd be happy to see hockey markets win: both New Yorks, Buffalo, San Jose, Minnesota and Detroit.

I really don't want to see Anaheim, Nashville, Tampa Bay or Atlanta anywhere near that Cup.

Anonymous said...

Cheer for the teams in each series which have the greatest probability of actually having snow on the ground during the winter.

Julian said...

These playoffs appear to be more about who I'm not cheering for than who I want to win.

And that goes for players too, who's this year's version of Adam Oates or Ray Bourque? I mean, besides Smytty. I'll cheer for the Isles, but it'll be like cheering for a clubbed baby seal against a rabid polar bear.