We have half joked that this “tanking” should be an art form of sorts. There are Atlantic teams well represented and our focus is naturally on them. There will probably be one more update before the NHL Trade Deadline. This is about the time when the intrigue begins to rise in earnest.
Eight teams are likely in the running for Tank Wars. We cut it off at eight because it was a nice round number after all. Also, based on records and lottery anyone that can challenge for the top three or four has a shot at Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel. There is one team that has been perpetually at the bottom just about all year and that is Buffalo. However, there is a team a few spots above that literally is on Buffalo pace and maybe worse. That, of course, is the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Now it is time to take a look at the Tank Wars standings:
Tank Wars Standings (as of February 20th)
- Buffalo Sabres — 38 pts
- Edmonton Oilers — 44 pts
- Arizona Coyotes — 47 pts
- Carolina Hurricanes — 49 pts
- Toronto Maple Leafs — 51 pts
- New Jersey Devils — 55 pts
- Columbus Blue Jackets — 55 pts
- Ottawa Senators — 56 pts
Teams on the outside looking in — Philadelphia (59 pts), Colorado (61 pts).
Some Things To Keep In Mind
Also please note that some teams have played less games than others. Ottawa has only played 56 games as of press time. Toronto and Buffalo have already completed 59 and only have 23 left. The coldest team in the league is not the Buffalo Sabres over the last ten games for once. They are not even the second worst team over that span. Talk about a pretty scary thought considering Buffalo’s goal differential, SAT score, etc.
The only real question is who gets that number two slot. Edmonton looked to have this in the bag but three teams are right there within striking distance. Now the Oilers have only 22 games left in the season so they might not fall down the standings too much if they keep winning.
Most teams have to understand that there are literally seven weeks left as of Sunday. That is right. Only 49 days separate us from the end of the regular season.
Now who is that one team making the most noise in the Tank Wars. I think everyone knows that answer already.
Toronto Tanks Like A Buzzsaw
They are bad but over the last 21 games, Toronto has a grand total of five points. That is right….five! Just type Toronto Maple Leafs on your search engine in Twitter or Tweetdeck and this is what you get.
@Steve_Dangle All Set for #TankNation ! #TMLtalk #Leafs #2015NHLDraft #Toronto @MapleLeafs pic.twitter.com/eXrjOWj3s0
— Fabio Veltri (@Classic_FV) February 21, 2015
This is how bad it has become in Toronto err comical. Fans, at least most of them, just are laughing about how bad Toronto is and even coming up with elaborate ways they can actually snag the number one pick. The numbers are bad and the slumps are worse. If you are wondering what Toronto’s PDO is, we have that too.
Toronto was at a 1.023 just two months ago and have fallen all the way to dead average at 1. So basically they have gone from 1st to 17th. That is some precipitous drop! It is very likely that the number could fall even further. Toronto might really end up in the bottom third in PDO when all is said and done with the season. Sporting Charts have quite a few excellent graphs on this and much more things Toronto and all things NHL.
These links keeps on popping up more and more in Toronto. No one should be surprised.
Tank Watch: Toronto Maple Leafs Visit Carolina Hurricanes http://t.co/O2vR4IlfuO
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@lightlyover) February 21, 2015
This is all part of Tank Wars as Toronto moved a little closer to the fourth pick. Carolina has games in hand and now are only two points ahead of the Maple Leafs. Toronto attempted to move a little closer to the bottom with a game against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night.
We will keep you updated on the latest with the epic battles but one thing is very clear. Buffalo’s biggest threat is definitely starting to emerge as Toronto. The Maple Leafs could end up with as low as 60 points (maybe worse) if they keep playing the way they are. That would likely be good enough for the second overall pick. At that point, not many would give Buffalo much of a chance to claim the number one pick in the lottery.
I am not saying it will be rigged but Buffalo has really rotten luck in this sort of thing. Stay tuned, this battle is about to get even more intense.