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Slackin’ for Macklin: The Senators are moving up in the standings, the Flames have a tough week ahead, and more!

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Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Brennan Delaney
10 days ago
There are just over two weeks remaining in the National Hockey League regular season.
While there is a tight playoff race in the Eastern Conference (which you can read about in the latest Around the NHL), there’s also a second race of landing Macklin Celebrini.
In “Slackin’ for Macklin”, we take a look at how lottery teams did the past week, as well as update their odds of landing the first-overall pick in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. The most spots a team can move up in the draft is 10, so we won’t be looking at the Pittsburgh Penguins or any teams with more points than them.
Let’s dig in!

San Jose Sharks

With just nine games to go, it looks as if no one can catch the San Jose Sharks in terms of being bad. They have 42 points, the fewest in the league, and still have a 25.5% chance of winning the draft lottery and falling no further than the top three, according to Tankathon.
Since the last article, the Sharks “Sharked” it up, losing another fun game against the Dallas Stars 6-3, before losing a game 3-1 to the Minnesota Wild. However, they recorded their first shutout on Saturday over the St. Louis Blues, defeating the 2019 Stanley Cup champions 4-0.
This upcoming week, the Sharks will play four home games against the Seattle Kraken, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, and Arizona Coyotes.

Chicago Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks moved up to the first overall pick in 2023 and could very easily do so again, as their 49 points are the second fewest in the league. It gives them a 13.5% chance of landing the first overall pick, but their highest odds are of falling to the fourth-overall pick, as they have a 41.7% chance of doing so.
Relative to the Sharks, the Blackhawks had a solid week. They defeated the Calgary Flames for the second time this season, as well as the potentially playoff bound Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 5-1. They did fall to the Ottawa Senators, however.
This upcoming week, the Blackhawks will head to Long Island to face the New York Islanders, before returning home and hosting the Dallas Stars on Saturday and the Minnesota Wild on Sunday.

Anaheim Ducks

Nothing much has changed since the last “Slackin’ for Macklin”, as the Anaheim Ducks still have the third-fewest points with just seven games remaining. This gives them an 11.5% chance of moving up to the first-overall pick, 11.2% odds to move up to the second-overall pick, and 69.5% odds of falling to either fourth or fifth.
The week started off rough, with a 4-0 loss to the Seattle Kraken, which was the fourth time they were shutout in March. They lost another game against the Kraken, before a 6-1 blowout at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers and a 3-2 loss to the Canucks the following day.
On Tuesday, the Ducks will head to the Saddledome to face off against the Calgary Flames, before returning home to host the Kraken for the two team’s third game in two weeks, as well as a game against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Like the other team’s we’ve looked at, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ fate is pretty much sealed, as they’re pretty much guaranteed to finish with the fourth-fewest points, as the Ducks are behind by eight points, while the Blue Jackets trail the next team by seven points. In turn, this gives them a 9.5% chance to win the first-overall pick, the same odds for the second-overall pick as well. Their best odds are to drop to the fifth-overall pick, as they have a 44.6% chance of doing so.
Over their first two games this past week, the Blue Jackets losing streak continued as the Jackets lost 6-2 to the Arizona Coyotes, as well as a 3-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins to finish a really weird road trip. The Jackets ended a six-game losing streak with a 4-3 shootout win over the Penguins.
This week, the Blue Jackets will play four games, hosting the Colorado Avalanche, New York Islanders, and Philadelphia Flyers, before heading on a road trip that will start in Carolina against the Hurricanes.Of their eight games, only one isn’t against a playoff team.

Arizona Coyotes

The Arizona Coyotes were once in a playoff spot in 2024, but a massive losing streak has eliminated them from playoff contention 11th time in 12 years (and that was the pandemic season where playoffs expanded). As it stands, they have an 8.5% chance of landing the first-overall pick, an 8.6% chance of moving up to the second-overall pick, with a 44% chance of dropping to the sixth-overall pick.
Despite the poor season, the Coyotes actually had a good week where they scored plenty of goals. It started with a 6-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, before they ended the Nashville Predators’ 18-game point streak by defeating them 8-4. They also played a barn burner against the best team in the NHL, the New York Rangers, losing 8-5.
This upcoming week, the Coyotes will face off against the Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights at home, before playing the San Jose Sharks on Sunday in the Bay Area.

Montréal Canadiens

The Montréal Canadiens have a single point more than the Arizona Coyotes and two fewer than the Ottawa Senators, so their draft position is not even close to being settled. As it stands, they have a 7.5% chance of moving to the first-overall pick and a 7.7% chance of moving to the second overall pick. Like every team we’ve looked at so far, their best (or worst in this case) odds are to move to the pick below where they rank, with a 41.4% chance to move to the seventh-overall pick
With all that being said, the Canadiens had a successful week. They built off their 5-1 win over the Seattle Kraken with a 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche, before defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1. However, they were shutout 3-0 by the Carolina Hurricanes to end their week.
April won’t be any easier for the Canadiens, as in their first week they’ll host the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Toronto Maple Leafs, before heading to New York to face off against the Rangers. Yikes.

Ottawa Senators

It’s a bit of a shock to see a team that has traded their first-round pick the past two seasons where the Ottawa Senators are. However, they had a tough start to the season and now have a 6.5% chance of landing the first-overall pick and a 6.7% chance of landing the second overall pick. Unlike all the other teams we’ve looked at, their best odds are to remain at the seventh-overall pick instead of dropping down one, as they have 44.4% odds to stay put.
Those odds to land the first-overall pick may get worse, as the Senators are playing some of the best hockey they’ve played this season. Coming into this week, they were on a two-game winning streak with wins over the New Jersey Devils and the Edmonton Oilers, and they kept winning. They defeated the Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks, and the Winnipeg Jets to have a 3-0-0 week.
This upcoming week, they’ll head to Minnesota to play the Wild, before returning home for two games to host the Florida Panthers and Devils. Afterwards, they’ll head to the United States capital to play the Washington Capitals.

Seattle Kraken

The Seattle Kraken are likely going to fight for a playoff spot next season, and landing a player like Macklin Celebrini would be a big help in pushing them over the edge. Unfortunately for them, they only have a 6% chance of moving up to the first-overall pick, and a 54.4% chance of remaining at the eight-overall pick.
It doesn’t help that they had a winning week, shutting out the Anaheim Ducks in one game, before winning the other game 4-2. They were shutout as well, as the Dallas Stars won 3-0 on Saturday.
This upcoming week, the Kraken will be on their final California road trip, as they’ll head to San Jose, Los Angeles, and Anaheim to play three games this upcoming week. Of their remaining nine games, only three are against teams that will be heading to the playoffs, and the Kraken have just two home games remaining.

Buffalo Sabres

The eternal lottery team has just a 5% chance of moving up to the first-overall pick, with a 5.2% chance of moving to the second overall pick. Their best chance is to remain at the ninth-overall pick though, as they’re given a 64.4% chance of sticking there, with a 23.5% chance of dropping to the 10th-overall pick.
It wasn’t a great week for the Sabres, as their three games played at home saw them lose twice. One was against the Ottawa Senators where they lost 6-2, before getting a 5-2 win against the New Jersey Devils. It was short-lived though, as Auston Matthews scored his 60th goal in a 3-0 defeat to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Sabres home stand continues, as they’ll host both the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers this week, before heading to Detroit to face the Red Wings on Sunday. Interestingly, that game against the Red Wings will be their only remaining game that isn’t against a playoff team, as the Wings are still chasing down that final Wild Card spot.

Calgary Flames

If you look at the NHL standings, the Calgary Flames actually have the eighth-fewest points, behind both the Seattle Kraken and the Buffalo Sabres. However, all three teams have a .500 point percentage, with the Sabres having played two more games than the Flames. This puts the Flames in the 10th spot, which is a 3.5% chance to move to the first overall pick and a 3.7% chance of moving to the second overall pick. Their best odds are to remain at 10th-overall, as they have a 73.3% chance of doing so.
A rough 3-1 loss to the lowly Chicago Blackhawks will help in their quest to get the best pick, as was their 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues. However, the Flames defeated the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday in a very exciting game.
This upcoming week, they’ll host the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, before flying to Winnipeg to play the Jets on Thursday. The Flames will return home to host the Oilers in the final Battle of Alberta of the season.

New Jersey Devils

Seen as a Stanley Cup contender heading into the season, the New Jersey Devils now have a 3% chance of landing the first-overall pick and a 3.2% chance of landing the second-overall pick. Their best odds are to remain at the 11th-overall pick though, as they are given a 79.9% chance to do so. Not great for a contender.
The Devils only played two games this past week, defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3 before losing to the Buffalo Sabres 5-2.. This month, the Devils are 6-9-0 and are just six points out of a playoff spot with a whole bunch of teams to jump over.
Of their eight games remaining, four will take place this upcoming week as they’ll host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, before heading to their rival’s home to face the New York Rangers. The mini-road trip continues as they’ll head to Ottawa to face the Senators, before returning home to face the Nashville Predators in their second back-to-back of the week.
Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D.
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