Hockey returns tonight! Don't forget, the Stars are on the road in Canada all week, so don't you go grabbing your turkey legs and popped corns for a night at the AAC just yet. That day will come, but today is not that day. Next Tuesday is that day.
So Taylor showed me this addictive simulator yesterday that runs the draft lottery for you with current team standings. It's addictive, and my initial temptation was to just keep clicking away like I'm playing Nanaca Crash during computer lab or something. But this is a Serious Website, and as such, I figured I would do things right. So I've included the results of my first simulator run below.
Let's just say that the results played out much like they do whenever you play the real lottery: it is depressing.
Minnesota Wild had a 6.0% chance to win the lottery.
Thus I, being morose and bored, stubbornly kept clicking to see how many tries it would take for Dallas to get their hands on that top pick. You can experiment yourself, but here are the winners from each time I tried, because I decided it would be fun* to see how much the internet gremlins hate the Stars. This is all as I experienced (and documented) it, all so you wouldn't have to. Oh, right, you're already on the other page doing it anyway. Never mind. Share how many tries it took you in the comments to see if you can beat me! You probably can.
2. Philadelphia, 6.5% chance (Except they don't have enough cap space to sign McDavid, and he bolts for the KHL.)
3. Florida, 2.0% chance (Twice in two years is a bit much, but who doesn't want to see Florida really get going? Oh, this would also push Dallas down to the #12 pick, so that would kind of stink.)
4. Philadelphia again, 6.5% chance (in case you had any doubt that the NHL would rig even a draft lottery simulator to help Philly)
5. Edmonton, 13.5% chance (wow, even if you go full Edmonton, it still takes five tries to get it right. That's actually about right for them, come to think of it.)
6. Buffalo, 20% chance, and this isn't unreasonable. Tim Murray knows he isn't guaranteed #1, but he'll take either one after the slaughterhouse he's turned his locker room into.
7. Columbus, 6.5% chance (is anyone else sick of hearing about Ohio yet?)
8. Toronto, 5% (haha, aw, that's adorable. Yeah, no. This isn't happening, and everyone knows it.)
9. Arizona, 11.5% (good for Arizona, bad for the #1 pick)
10. Buffalo, still 20%. (Math is real! Twice in 10 picks is EXACTLY TWENTY PERCENT OH MY GOODNESS NUMBERS JUST NUMBERS.)
11. Oilers again. Get it out of your system now, draft lottery wizards.
12. Arizona again. (Wait, the Stars only have a 3% chance? That means I would...)
13. New Jersey, 8.5% chance. (...have to run this thing 33 times...maybe...)
14. Buffalo. Being bad does pay, kids.
15. Flyers. Obnoxious Flyers.
16. Edmonton. (I say "Edmonton," you say...well, I can't type it here, but any of those pejorative terms will work.)
17. Carolina, finally, with a 9.5% chance. And the Staals get a new buddy. No one really knows anything about Carolina other than Cam Ward, Justin Faulk (now), and the Staals. No one at all.
18. Columbus. I'm getting bored of this now, but I have to keep going. McDavid in green...McDavid in green...
19. Colorado, 2.5% chance. Say, this is about par for the course. Two teams with worse odds than Dallas have won the lottery so far.
20. Arizona. Have I saved the franchise yet?
21. Florida. Seriously, computer box, stop it. Dallas should win at least once before Florida wins twice. That's just stupid. The only thing that could be more stupid (and I swear I didn't start typing this until I saw #22) is if...
22. Los Angeles, 1.0% chance. Yes, that's right, I helped LA get Connor McDavid, because they need that consolation prize after a measly two cups in three years.
23. Arizona. I'm only going to 33, I've now decided.
24. Toronto. They are such a mess, though, I mean...oh man, it's just sad. Kinda fun, but sad. Mostly fun.
25. Minnesota. No.
26. Buffalo. They've only won four times in 26 tries so far, which is like 15%, not 20%. Small sample size? I wish it felt like it.
27. Ottawa, 3.5% chance. This means that every team has now won the lottery except the Stars. I promise you, I didn't plan this or anything. I sat down to just pump out this initial part of the article, and everything took a turn for the worse. That kind of reminds me of October and November.
28. Edmonton again. I'm hoping each time I win with them means one fewer lottery ball they'll have in the hopper or whatever.
29. Philadelphia. This is ridiculous.
30. Columbus drafts...Jack Eichel, just because they have learned to hate Canada after the All-Star Game. Why couldn't you have fixed it back when the league was 96% Canadian players?
31. Toronto again, but oh wait, they traded their first rounder along with Dion Phaneuf to Chicago for Brad Richards, who retires before even hanging up the phone when his agent calls to tell him.
32. New Jersey. I think I will never forgive them for 2000. This just made me angry a little.
33. Oilers. Are you kidding me?
Okay, I'm just going to click on the "draft" button a bunch and tell you how many tries it took. I am seriously typing this in real time as I do this, I promise.
Okay, finally, on my 70th try:
Dallas Stars had a 3.0% chance to win the lottery.
No, they actually did not. I hate math. Can the Stars just win 30 games in a row so we can play for the Cup again?
* "fun" would have been, I now realize, playing Nanaca Crash that whole time instead.
* * * * *
I play in a 5v5 soccer league on Tuesday nights (with a goalie as well), and it is always funny how my brother and I end up analyzing so much of the play with hockey terminology. When you get stuck out there for the full two minutes of a penalty kill, never touching the ball except for the one shot block you took right in the beans, well, that makes it easier to sympathize with the big boys playing on ice.
Travis Brown of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram adds his vote to the "get it done abroad" campaign. [FWST]
Josh Bogorad wonders if the Stars might be in good shape to handle the 8-of-11 road games stretch facing them. [Stars]
Rick "Goose" Gosselin says that losing Val Nichushkin for most of this season was a big deal. [DMN]
The NHL website hard-hitting stories are always a good barometer for what the two nominal hockey fans across the aisle of my office know about the Stars: Seguin is an Art Ross candidate, and the Stars need to win road games. There are 14 other story lines here as well. [NHL]
Some good news for once, as Erik Cole is doing better than expected. Meanwhile, Daley, Eaves and Ritchie are all ready to play hockey again. [Stars]
Sports Illustrated agrees with recent playoff writings by handsome authors: the four point deficit the Stars have to make up is bigger than you might think. [SI]
Western Conference injury update: Erik Johnson (COL) will be out anywhere from three to eight weeks with the knee injury that prevented his All-Star Game participation. [THN]
Mike Richards, he of 2012 Stanley Cup Playoff glory, has been waived by the Kings in hopes of gaining some salary cap relief if he is assigned to the AHL. How quickly things can change. [LA Times]
And for fearful Edmonton fans, Marcy Di Michele consoles you with this thought: there is no Derek Roy situation here. [Hockey Writers]
Eastern Conference injury update: Sergei Bobrovsky will be out for 4-6 weeks with a groin yikesy, and Kyle Okposo will be inactive on Long Island for 6-8 weeks for a reason we have yet to learn. [Puck Daddy]
Oh, also, a little fella name of Dion Phaneuf is week-to-week with what we're hearing is a hand injury. Not that anyone cares about some random Toronto defenceman or anything. [NHL]
In light of Phaneuf's boo-boo, what is his real trade value? [SportsNet]
Zac Rinaldo got eight games for being foolish and dangerous on and off the ice. [Philly.com]
Good stuff from Ryan Whitney on playing in the NHL after a tough end to his NHL career. [The Score]
Finally, is the Kessel/Seguin bit played out? Some people seem to think so. I also find this radio host a bit boring and played out, for what my opinion is worth. (Probably like eight cents, tops; Derek, can you convert that to Canadian Loonies or whatever?) [SportsNet Video]