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Game Thread: Oilers at Anaheim - Thinking About the Draft Lottery

The Oilers wrap up their two-game California road trip with a game against the Ducks. Hopefully they don't suck too much.

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The Oilers played a not terrible game last night and they still lost. For those keeping track at home that's now six straight games that ended up in the loss column. Tonight they're back in action against the Anaheim Ducks, a team that didn't play a game last night and is also much better than the Oilers. So if you were going to try to predict tonight's outcome, you would likely go with the Ducks. But the Oilers don't play games in late February to win, this time of year is all about moral victories for the Oilers. All that we can really hope is that they don't completely suck. A truly depressing way to enjoy the game when there is still one-quarter off the season left to play.

One-quarter of the season. 20 games. 60 periods. 1,200 minutes. 72,000 seconds. Frustratingly these games make up yet another death march instead of a playoff run, but there are still things to look forward to along the way. Justin Schultz will be gone sooner than later. Nikita Nikitin might not be with the club any more but when the season ends you'll know for sure that you'll never have to see him play for the Oilers again. And then there's Connor McDavid, he's pretty fun to watch. And of course there is beer. Sweet, delicious beer. It'll still be a tough 20 games to watch, but we're Oilers fans, we're battle tested for scenarios like this.

And when it's all said and done it'll be time for the Oilers to do what they do best, win the draft lottery. For a team that’s has a lot of down days every years (plus or minus 82) this is one day of the year that’s been a lot of fun for Oilers fans; I even have a shirt commemorating our draft lottery dynasty. You can count on one hand the number of things that the Oilers have done right over the last seven seasons (really decade) other than draft first overall, but when we show up at the lottery we can’t be stopped. We’ve won from a 30th place finish. We "won" after not actually winning the lottery. We’ve won from 29th place and we won from 28th place. The NHL can change the rules but it won't change the result.

At this point the best part about another lottery win won't even be the player we can acquire (or who can be acquired if we trade the pick), it'll be the endless bitching from every other fan base, especially Toronto, that the win will set off. To make it even more enjoyable though I hope that the Leafs fail to win any of the three lotteries and end up picking no higher than fourth. Ideally the draft order would be Edmonton, Montreal, anybody but Toronto. Yes, that would be enough to instantly erase the, what are likely to be, painful memories of the last 20 games of this season from my memory. Assuming of course that the alcohol hasn't already done that.