So the Thrashers have now been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, as the 8th place Rangers are at 91 points and the Thrashers would top out at 84 if they win all three remaining games.
The Thrashers are also now mathematically eliminated from contention for the #1 over-all pick in this year's draft. Through the draft lottery, any team has a chance to move up a maximum of four spots. That means that teams #30-25 have a shot (with varying and graduated degrees of probability) at the top pick.
At 78 points, the Thrashers can not be passed by the Oilers, Avalanche, Panthers, or Senators. The Islanders could match the Thrashers' 78 points and would then have identical 33-37-12 records. The tie breaker would then go to the Thrashers by virtue of winning the season series.
So even if the Thrashers were to lose the remaining games on the schedule (which their performance last night foreshadows), the best position they can hope for prior to the draft lottery is 6th. If lightning were to strike (the proverbial kind, not the kind that went 6-0 against Atlanta this season) and the Thrashers were to win the draft lottery, they would move up to the second over-all pick.
Chatter all year has been that this is going to be a very shallow draft. I have been hearing some rumblings lately that there might be a bit more talent out there than we had been lead to believe.
What do you good folks think Rick Dudley's offseason strategy needs to be? We all agree we need a new owner, so let's stick to the needs on the ice.