(Welcome to the NHL Draft Tank Powerless Rankings, a weekly look at the race to the bottom in the League for the right to draft Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel.)
The Sabres are back! At least as the team with the most powerful tank in the NHL. This comes right before the Buffalo/Arizona "Tank Wars" week, where they will play twice -- once on Thursday night in Buffalo and the other in Glendale, Arizona the following Tuesday. Hopefully Tim Peel can ref one of those games.
14. Los Angeles Kings (86 points)
Current Draft Lottery Odds: 1.0 percent
Chances of making the playoffs: 68.8 percent
The Kings still have three road games left on this trip (where they've gone 2-0-0) and an April 9 game against Calgary to help determine whether they make the playoffs. We think they will, but they're not in there right now. So in that case ... think of that 1-2 Kopitar, McDavid punch.
13. Boston Bruins (84 points)
Current Draft Lottery Odds: 2.0 percent
Chances of making the playoffs: 34.3 percent
Congrats to the Bruins for making the rankings. There's no chance at all the NHL will fix the lottery to appease owner Jeremy Jacobs. Ha! Of course there's a possibility. We put that percentage at about 20 ... 30 if Jacobs indeed has suggestive photos of commissioner Gary Bettman somewhere, as we all truly believe he does.
... oh that is horrifying
12. Dallas Stars (82 points)
Current Draft Lottery Odds: 2.5 percent
Chances of making the playoffs: 1.9 percent, (Projected 10th in the Western Conference at 44 percent)
Dallas has won nine of 11 games. They are not tanking, and in their crosshairs is the Winnipeg Jets who have a 65.2 percent chance of making the playoffs and sit six points clear of the streaking stars. To quote Samuel L. Jackson in "Jurassic Park" hold onto your butts.
11. Florida Panthers (80 points)
Current Draft Lottery Odds: 3.0 percent
Chances of making playoffs: 1.7 percent (Projected 10th in Eastern Conference at 76 percent)
Florida's actually five points back of Ottawa. Their 1.7 percent odds will increase if fans start throwing alligator burgers on the ice and give their players food poisoning.
10. San Jose Sharks (78 points)
Current Draft Lottery Odds: 3.5 percent
Current projected finish: 10th in the Western Conference (44 percent)
The Sharks tank brigade got a late start in its offensive, but thanks to Doug Wilson's locker room subterfuge, San Jose is in full dive mode. The Sharks have won just one of their last five games.
9. Colorado Avalanche (78 points)
Current Draft Lottery Odds: 5 percent
Current projected finish: 12th in the Western Conference (54 percent)
They lost to Edmonton in regulation. It's on like Donkey Kong ...
8. Philadelphia Flyers (76 points)
Current Draft Lottery Odds: 6 percent
Current Projected Finish: 11th in Eastern Conference (49 percent)
Why in the world did the Flyers beat the Chicago Blackhawks in regulation Wednesday? Is it because they know they're playing with house money ... thanks to Ed Snider's strangely close relationship with Bettman (see Jacobs, Jeremy for a comparison).
7. New Jersey Devils (73 points)
Current Draft Lottery Odds: 6.5 percent
Current Projected Finish: 13th in Eastern Conference (40 percent)
It's a big weekend for the Devils with a game against the Hurricanes on Saturday. If the tank was really on, Cory Schneider would not start that game.
6. Columbus Blue Jackets (72 points)
Current Draft Lottery Odds: 7.5 percent
Current Projected Finish: 13th in Eastern Conference (44 percent)
The Blue Jackets have won seven of their last eight games. But why??? Most of your big-named players are locked up to long-term deals and can have the fruits of this lack of labor. Just think ... Johansen and McEichel as a 1-2 center punch for a dynastic eternity.
5. Carolina Hurricanes (62 points)
Current Draft Lottery Odds: 8.5 percent
Current Projected Finish: 14th in Eastern Conference (82 percent)
One point in the last week? Take that everyone who thought the Hurricanes hadn't totally thrown in the towel. With games against the Sabres, Panthers and Flyers left on the schedule there's plenty of time for the Hurricanes to move up in our powerless rankings.
4. Toronto Maple Leafs (60 points)
Current Draft Lottery Odds: 9.5 percent
Current Projected Finish: 15th in Eastern Conference (82 percent)
Phil Kessel may not score 30 goals for the first time in a full season since 2007-08. Toronto's attendance keeps dropping. You know what can help with this? A first line generational center.
3. Edmonton Oilers (55 pts.)
Current Draft Lottery Odds: 11.5 percent
Current Projected Finish: 15th in Western Conference (74 percent)
Again, why did you beat Colorado? Taylor Hall coming back may sabotage this tank and thankfully prevent one of these two awesome players from ending up in Hoth.
2. Arizona Coyotes (52 pts.)
Current Draft Lottery Odds: 13.5 percent
Current Projected Finish: 14th in the Western Conference (74 percent)
That win against the Red Wings really hurt the Coyotes' tanking situation. Even two regulation wins by the Sabres against Arizona this week won't do enough for Buffalo to jump the Coyotes.
1. Buffalo Sabres (47 pts.)
Current Draft Lottery Odds: 20 percent
Current Projected Finish: 16th in Eastern Conference (100 percent)
Buffalo coach Ted Nolan finally spouted off about the losing. Good for him. It probably sucks as a coach ... if you're trying to win and management gives you no tools to succeed. Regardless, his impassioned pleas may be too little too late.
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