By now everyone is well aware that the 2020 first overall pick will go to a team still in contention for the Stanley Cup. The modified draft lottery system was debated when it was first put in place, but it still caused much frustration when a mystery team was awarded the first pick. With the league setting up to resume play in the next few weeks, the results of round robin play-in will play a part in determining who gets that first overall pick.
From a Senators perspective, here are some of the intriguing match-ups to keep an eye on :
a) The Pittsburgh Penguins vs the Montreal Canadiens
- This is probably one of the more debated match-ups when it comes to who Sens fans would rather see in contention for that first overall pick. At first, the easy answer would be to cheer for the Montreal Canadiens (I would use the word cheer lightly here) and hope they advance out of an opportunity at Alexis Lafrenière. But upon further reflection, it doesn’t seem that simple. The Pittsburgh Penguins have a long history of being a thorn for the Ottawa Senators, from the eliminations in the early years of Crosby/Malkin era, to the Matt Cooke/Erik Karlsson ankle debacle to the Sidney Crosby/Marc Methot incident and of course the 2017 heartbreak; it seems Sens fans have developed quite the hatred for the pens. Taking the pulse of the fanbase, there are a healthy number of Sens fans who would rather see the Montreal Canadiens take Lafrenière than have the Penguins even come close to that opportunity. While I understand the notion, I still see Lafrenière playing with a divisional rival such as the Habs absolutely crushing for the Senators — especially after the last few seasons Ottawa has endured.
b) New York Islanders vs The Florida Panthers
- There is no hate involved here unless some of you really consider the Panthers a divisional enemy, but an Islanders win guarantees that the Sens have a third first round pick. That being said, if the Panthers win and the Islanders lose the lottery (since it is top-3 protected) the pick becomes significantly better. Knowing the Sens luck, if the Islanders do not advance to the playoffs, they’ll end up winning the lottery which will be the ultimate case of bad luck for the Sens. Probably best to cheer for the Islanders in this round.
c) The Toronto Maple Leafs vs the Columbus Blue Jackets
- The Jackets are a likable team and it would be nice to see Nick Foligno go far in the playoffs. That being said, the Leafs getting anywhere near Lafrenière would probably be the most disastrous scenario. While I admit I am slightly curious as to how the Leafs could manage a roster with the addition of Lafrenière to the team, I’d rather keep that curiosity unsolved. Between the Leafs and the Habs, I honestly cannot decide which would be a worse scenario but for the time being, I would say the Leafs do not need any more ego boosters and who doesn’t want them to be crushed in a real playoff round anyways?
From the Western Conference, I really don’t see any scenario that would be negatively impact or affect the Senators. From a hockey perspective, it would be quite entertaining to see Lafrenière with Connor McDavid in Edmonton or just for the humour of this entire situation: have the Arizona Coyotes win the lottery and continue the Taylor Hall good luck charm.
Which brings us to this week’s question: what’s a worst case draft lottery scenario for you? Or maybe it doesn’t even matter?
Who Do You Least Want to See Win the Draft?
This poll is closed
Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Islanders
Other Eastern Team
Other Western Team
It does not really matter to the Sens or to me