We recently wrote about a crazy scenario, in which Connor McDavid and teammate Dylan Strome could be teammates in the NHL. If that, or some version of that, would happen, imagine the reaction of the hockey world. If the Pittsburgh Penguins are eliminated from the playoffs, the Edmonton Oilers would get an extra lottery pick. If that pick wins the lottery, the Oilers would get 2 of the Top 4 picks in the draft.
You think that is a crazy scenario? Let’s take it a step further. Thanks to the incredible comeback completed by the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night, there is a certain game on Saturday that could have some extra meaning to it.
Circle Saturday On Your Calendar
As it stands, the Pittsburgh Penguins still lead the Ottawa Senators by a single point in the playoff chase. Ottawa next plays Thursday at Madison Square Garden. If the Senators win in any fashion, they’ll jump the Penguins in the standings, and jump into the playoffs as of that moment.
Even if the Senators lose, they’re still not out of the race. The Penguins play Friday against the New York Islanders. Depending on how the games go, scenarios exist in which Ottawa and Pittsburgh would be separated by a single point, or tied. This is where Saturday would become must see TV.
The Senators end the season in Philadelphia, at 12:30pm Eastern Time. If Ottawa is ahead in points after this game, the playoffs could be determined by one game, at 7pm that night. The Pittsburgh Penguins have to play, the Buffalo Sabres.
The Sabres play in Columbus on Friday night. A Blue Jackets win would ensure the Sabres finish last overall. Considering the Blue Jackets have points in 10 straight games, it seems likely the Sabres will lose. With 30th place out-of-the-way, Buffalo will be motivated to win. If they win, it could eliminate the Penguins from the playoffs. Of all things that could happen to end the season! The Buffalo Sabres could eliminate the Pittsburgh Penguins. Twitter and other outlets just might have a meltdown.
Could Winning Cost The Sabres McDavid?
Here is where things could get ridiculous in the world of crazy scenarios. Recall that Edmonton owns Pittsburgh’s 1st round pick. If Pens miss playoffs, that pick is a lottery pick. If that pick wins the lottery, it becomes 1st overall. The Edmonton Oilers then would have acquired the 1st pick and Connor McDavid, thanks to the Buffalo Sabres eliminating the Pittsburgh Penguins on the last day of the regular season. Thus, Buffalo helped Edmonton land McDavid. If you think Buffalo is rooting against Edmonton now, wait until this comes to pass.
Again, keep this in perspective. The chances of this are slim. However, there is still a chance. When there’s a chance, anything can happen. It will be newsworthy enough if Buffalo eliminates Pittsburgh. It will take on a life of its own if Edmonton picks 1st with pick acquired from Pittsburgh. Either way, stay tuned. The best is yet to come.
I am a fully credentialed writer who covers the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Monsters and Erie Otters as well as the Ontario Hockey League and NHL Draft. The 2022-23 season will mark nine seasons with the Hockey Writers. I am also the site’s Credentials Manager. Please take note of the updated Twitter handle: @mark_scheig.