Standings, Picks, Odds – Today’s Picture

By JD Lagrange – It has been a second tough season in a row for the Montreal Canadiens. While most fans understand and are trying to see the positive into such seasons, it is sometimes difficult to keep our interest in a team that won’t be anywhere close to participating in what onces was a sure thing: competing in the NHL Playoffs for a Stanley Cup.

Right now, some fans are focussed on “tanking”, to get the best pick possible. Many other fans are keeping an eye on young Canadiens prospects trying to make a name for themselves with the opportunity that’s been awarded to them due to injuries. But the standings don’t lie. Here is what the “race to the bottom” looks like.


Florida Panthers

As we know, the Canadiens also own the Panthers’ first round pick this year and that pick is not protected. Florida is trailing Tampa Bay in the division by nine points so while not impossible, it will be very difficult for them to catch their Florida state rivals. Their best odds at making the playoffs is for a wildcard spot.

With 73 points, they currently sit three points back of the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins for the two wildcard position. Both teams have 76 points. The Panthers have played two more games than Pittsburgh, but have a game in hand on the Islanders.

Here’s where Florida is sitting at the moment in the overall standings.

* In the playoffs

Remaining schedule

According to, the Canadiens have the third most difficult schedule in the entire NHL, based on the quality of opposition. I ask you to take that with a grain of salt as Montreal has been in every game lately, while facing teams like Los Angeles, Vegas, Carolina, New York (Rangers) and New Jersey. All one goal losses except last night against the Devils, who scored in an empty net.

The Florida Panthers have a much easier schedule than Montreal, although their odds of making the playoffs aren’t looking so great. The Canadiens are facing them twice before the season ends.

Lastly, here are’s Draft lottery odds as of today.

There is still a lot of hockey remaining to be played and Habs’ fans are watching the standings closely. Personally, I am not in favour of “tanking” for a better pick. I’m in the mindset that if they win, it’s great for the team’s young players’ development. If they lose, oh well… particularly with the number of injuries they’ve been suffering.

Chasing the Draft – November 12th Edition

By Bob Trask – The second edition of the reverse power rankings has seen some changes in the projected draft order. Because most teams are only 14 games into the season, these rankings could continue to jump around dramatically. In today’s ranking, I will list this week’s rankings and compare them to those of last week to illustrate the risers and fallers.

As with last week I have ended the rankings with Florida’s pick in the first round the Montreal acquired in the Ben Chiarot trade.

Three teams that were not on last week’s list of the top draft picks were Calgary, Buffalo and Edmonton. All three had tough weeks which means they rose in the draft rankings. Two others that gained significantly in the rankings were Tampa Bay and Chicago who moved several spots up the draft ladder. Los Angeles, Montreal and Arizona had the biggest drops in their draft positions with the Canadiens coming in at #16 overall. Florida also dropped in the draft rankings from last week and based on current standings Montreal’s second pick in round one would come in at #23.

11Columbus Blue Jackets56.5
22Anaheim Ducks57.6
33St. Louis Blues58.3
44San Jose Sharks63.6
57+2Nashville Predators67.6
68+2Ottawa Senators68.0
76-1Vancouver Canucks69.8
8NRCalgary Flames76.4
95-4Arizona Coyotes77.6
1015+5Chicago Black Hawks78.8
1113+2Washington Capitals81.6
129-3Pittsburgh Penguins83.3
1320+7Tampa Bay Lightning (Chicago Blackhawks Pick)83.6
1410-4Minnesota Wild84.0
15NRBuffalo Sabres84.0
1611-5Montreal Canadiens84.0
17NREdmonton Oilers84.3
1816-2Toronto Maple Leafs87.5
1918-1New York Rangers88.4
2018-2Detroit Red Wings88.4
2112-9Los Angeles Kings88.9
2219-3Philadelphia Flyers92.0
2321-2Florida Panthers (Montreal Canadiens Pick)92.6
* NR refers to the team being not ranked in the previous week’s article.

Prospects – #16 Overall

Consolidated RankingMatthew Wood – F – University of Connecticut

Bob McKenzieKasper Halttunen – F – HIFK Liiga

Craig ButtonWill Smith – C – USNTDP Juniors

Prospects – #23 Overall

Consolidated RankingCaden Price – LD – Kelowna Rockets

Bob McKenzie – Has only ranked to #16 overall to date

Craig ButtonNoel Nordh – LW/RW – Swedish J20 Nationell

Ranking information is courtesy of The link to each player will bring up their personal profile, performance statistics and any rankings that other scouting services may have applied to them.

Looking Forward

This week saw some significant changes in the projected standings and a lot of teams “Points” rankings are very close together. That means there is potential for more big changes in the “Reverse Power Rankings” next week. Curiously, two teams that were deemed to be candidates to tank this season (Arizona and Chicago) have been surprisingly strong.

Stay tuned.

More reading…