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Quick Strikes: Draft Lottery results and the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Okay, everyone, begin your eternal screaming that will end sometime in the next two weeks to two months....3....2....1!

2008 NHL Entry Draft Portraits
OTTAWA, ON - JUNE 20: (L-R) Third overall pick Zach Bogosian of the Atlanta Thrashers, first overall pick Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning and second overall pick Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings pose for a photograph after being selected in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft at Scotiabank Place on June 20, 2008 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Photo by Andre Ringuette/Getty Images

The Bolts

So it’s actually here. The playoffs. It’s here. The Tampa Bay Lightning begin a (hopefully) two-month journey. 60 days. Four rounds. As a relative novice to all of this (a Torontonian younger than 25), I can honestly say my heart is in my throat and not willing to leave. Anyway, here is the series preview that Alan put together on the Columbus Blue Jackets. Puck drop is just after 7:00pm. [Raw Charge]

As expected, Tampa are the favorites in this series. Dom Luszczyszyn has the Lightning at 75%, which is the heaviest I’ve seen them favored by any of the public models. Micah Blake McCurdy’s model is more conservative putting the Bolts at 58% to win the series.

On the other side, our sister site, The Cannon, wrote several very enticing articles setting up the coming four-to-seven-game battle beginning Wednesday evening. First, a look at the forwards in the series. Then, the defense get a good scrutineering. Third on the docket, the optimists take as the mortal stands up to fight the Gods of Thunder. And lastly, a podcast!

As playoff previews said in 2014, 2017, and 2018, it all comes down to Sergei Bobrovsky. Every season since 2013 has turned on the performance of the Russian netminder. After a rough start to the season, he has been on top of his game over the last two months. He has nine shutouts on the season, and five of those came against playoff teams (Golden Knights, Capitals, Sharks, Hurricanes, Islanders). [Jackets Cannon]

In a quick aside from the playoffs, Red Wings GM Ken Holland spoke to the media on locker cleanout day. He brought up former Lightning GM Steve Yzerman and spoke about potential happenings with him in Detroit. Holland says he likes to “laugh about it,” for what it’s worth. [Michigan Live]

“I’d be living in a cave if I didn’t know (about the Yzerman speculation). I don’t quite live in social media, but I’m aware of all the rumors and everything out there.”

The Prospects

We are into the final week of the Syracuse Crunch’s regular season. Here is a recap from the previous week and what to expect looking forward. Justin, as always, does top-notch work. [Raw Charge]

So what is the “this” that he is looking at? It’s not the one game against the Amerks. It’s the inconsistency that has been a marker for this team all season long. One night they are flying around the ice, connecting on passes and looking like the best team in the league. The next night they can barely get the puck out of their zone and are committing lazy or needless penalties.

*Looks at the 20 former AHLers (plus the coach) on the current Tampa Bay Lightning roster*

*Looks at this Tweet*

“Damn right, AHL!”

One thing I’ll miss from Connor Ingram if he gets traded in the summer are these tweets. Really going to miss these tweets.

The Orlando Solar Bears are also getting set for their Kelly Cup playoff run.

The Game

Last night, the NHL had their Draft Lottery show (that was 45 minutes of talking heads wax on about the playoffs and 15 minutes of actual draft position revealing). Whether you found out about the final rankings via the leak from Sweden or from the show itself, here is the final list:

The New Jersey Devils swept in from the third spot to first.

The New York Rangers were in sixth and found themselves with the second pick.

The Chicago Blackhawks moved up nine spots from 12th to third.

Both the Colorado Avalanche (via the Ottawa Senators, lol) and Los Angeles Kings missed out on all the lottery balls and finished in their worst possible position. Similar to the 2017 draft lottery, the Avalanche had the best odds to win the first-overall pick, but lost out to the Devils in first place. Taylor Hall strikes again! But seriously, the Avalanche should be very happy with who they got with that pick (Cale Makar, who won everything in college and is going to step right into the NHL) and whoever they got this time. Odds are, they’re better than Brady Tkachuk anyway.

BUT BACK TO THE PLAYOFFS!

Sorry for getting all caps lock there for a second. I just watched the Steve Dangle playoff preview video that I’m about to link below. Watch it, it’s good and fun!

And last but not least, friend of the website ElSeldo wrote a very funny “Anti-NHL Awards” for the worst players in each category that the NHL votes on leading up to the awards ceremony in Vegas. I wonder if Seldo will hold his Anti-Awards Show in his hometown of Niagara, Ontario, aka the Vegas of Canada. [Pension Plan Puppets]

While we wait for the regular season to end, I’m here to let you know who is the opposite to these awards. Who was the worst coach of the regular season? Which GM bungled things up the worst? Which player is the LEAST valuable to their team?

Don’t worry hockey fans, I am here to tell you who these people are.

Just so you can get a head start on fan mail, my e-mail is elseldo01@gmail.com.

Highlight of the Night: {will return soon...very soon}