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TankWatch: Mission (almost) accomplished

Counting down the games left as the Flyers tumble down the standings.

Westminster Dragoons Recruiting Exhibition Photo by Harry Todd/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Welcome to TankWatch. The only place you need to look at to cheer on Philadelphia Flyers losses and other terrible teams’ victories.

Everything is falling into place. The Flyers are snug in this nice little hole that they have dug themselves into that guarantees them at least a finish in the bottom-seven of the overall standings and a 6.5 percent chance at nabbing the first-overall selection and an opportunity to draft wonderkid Shane Wright.

Is that worth having the lowest points percentage since 2007? We will see and it will be up to the team to develop whatever high-potential player they get with their first-rounder, but right now, the focus is just on getting that highest possible pick and we’re keeping tabs on every other competitor.

Ottawa Senators — 5 games remaining, 65 points

If the Senators earn just two more points than the Flyers, there is no possible way they could catch them for the remainder of the season, and there is plenty of upcoming opportunity to do exactly that. Ottawa has two games left in this week: A visit to the Columbus Blue Jackets, and then hosting the Montreal Canadiens in an All-Tank Game.

Ideally, they would earn those two points in Columbus, get out of reach for the Flyers, and then lose to the mighty Habitants as we try to wish somehow that they can go on a hot streak with Carey Price back in between the pipes and close that gap lower in the standings. It’s possible!

Chicago Blackhawks — 5 games remaining, 63 points

Chicago is still losing almost all of their games, but lucky for us, so are the Flyers. Getting a total of zero points against the Nashville Predators and Calgary Flames earlier, the Blackhawks are now down in California and set to face the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks in somewhat difficult matchups. They are certainly the underdog in these games, but their previous two losses were against much more difficult opponents that don’t appear to be slowing down at all in this final stretch of the regular season.

There is still enough of a gap for them to still lose out and finish above the Flyers, but that’s also fairly risky.

New Jersey Devils — 6 games remaining, 61 points

Bless the Devils. They were able to secure three of their last available points and have forced themselves to leap in the standings, flying over a couple teams and putting themselves in a position to not really reap any rewards for having a terrible season (hopefully). They will have even more opportunities to get those gross points, as they are facing the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings this week — they are also going to play the Carolina Hurricanes, but that should be an expected loss.

Hopefully they can just nudge through the crowd even more by earning points against non-playoff teams that are luckily still too high up to care about.

Seattle Kraken — 6 games remaining, 58 points

We love the Kraken, don’t we folks? Somehow, someway, the five-point gap that existed when we started TankWatch™ has completely vanished. Seattle has been able to claim all six of their last six available points with wins over the Devils, Senators, and the Colorado Avalanche of all teams. Just a beautiful sight that now sees the Flyers tumble, stumble, and fumble their way into the bottom-three of the overall standings. They will be facing the Minnesota Wild on the second half of their back-to-back and the Dallas Stars this weekend; maybe, we can hope, for some continued success, but at least they still have that game in-hand.

Philadelphia Flyers — 5 games remaining, 57 points

Our beautiful Philadelphia Flyers have done all that we have wished for. They have earned just four points in the last three weeks of action and perfectly dropped their back-to-back with the Sabres and hilariously fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs north of the border. They are chipping away at these remaining games and it is enough to suddenly be in a position where they would have an 11.5 percent chance at getting the top selection this summer.

Next, they have to play in the ultimate tank game: A visit to the Montreal Canadiens. That will be followed by a game that will be difficult to (hopefully) lose, as they face the Pittsburgh Penguins this Sunday.

Montreal Canadiens — 5 games remaining, 51 points

The Canadiens are still a fair bit below the Flyers right now, but if they are able to earn those two points on Thursday and maybe even get a win over the Senators later in the week, then the gap will close even further and we will need to be in full TankWatch Mode up until the very last minute of regular-season action.

Arizona Coyotes — 5 games remaining, 50 points

Despite Montreal being at least a possibility to close the six-point gap, it feels absolutely foolish to think about the Coyotes winning enough games in their final five to force the Flyers to the bottom of the league. It also doesn’t help that their next two games are against the Washington Capitals and the St. Louis Blues, and all games remaining are against playoff or playoff-hopeful teams.

Thank you for tuning in to TankWatch.