National Hockey League fans paid close attention to the trade deadline and how Cup contenders made the best moves to have a long playoff run, but now with just a bit less than a month of action to go in the league, the focus has turned to another race: the one for Rasmus Dahlin, the presumptive number one pick in June's entry draft. The race for Dalhin is in full swing at the bottom of the standings, with teams like the Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators are hoping to win the draft lottery to pick the young promising Swedish defenseman first overall.
However, one team seems to have put in action a new plan to be able to swoop in and disrupt the order of the draft, in hopes of winning the "All in for Dahlin" movement. Recent history suggests most anyone with a lottery pick — from the Vancouver Canucks and Montreal Canadiens to the Detroit Red Wings or even the Chicago Blackhawks - can come in and win the race. And the Canucks are making sure they have the best chance possible by using a weird strategy lately.
The Canucks haven’t won a playoff series since 2011 and are set to miss the post-season for the fourth time in five years. And lately, Vancouver is doing badly... in 48 years in the NHL, the Canucks had never played a three-game road trip without scoring until now. Get this:
Their 3-0 loss on Wednesday night to the Anaheim Ducks extended the Canucks’ goalless streak to three hours, 32 minutes and nine seconds, and their losing skid to five games since leading scorer and rookie sensation Brock Boeser suffered a season-ending back injury last Monday against the New York Islanders.
The Canucks got outscored 7-0 in Anaheim, Los Angeles and Phoenix and went 0-for-99 with shots on goal.
Awful? Yes. Or brilliant? Maybe...
With 11 games to go, it is hard to tell if the Canucks will win any of them. They’ve currently got 59 points, the same total they had in the lockout-shortened 48-game season in 2013. If they sink that low, the Canucks will have the best chance (18 per cent) to pick first overall in 2018. And that may be what they want.
The Canucks have not scored a goal since March 9 against the Minnesota Wild. If they continue their downfall, Vancouver might have found the best strategy possible to get a better chance to land Dahlin.
And, apparently, the young blue liner would be more than fine with that.
“That would be sick,” Dahlin revealed on Canucks Central at Noon on Sportsnet 650 when asked what he’d think if the Canucks took him. “We will see.”
For now, Dahlin is just taking it easy and waiting to see what will happen at the draft.
“I’m still just having fun,” Dahlin said. “Here in Sweden it’s not so big pressure. Everybody’s just positive and all that stuff. I have my old friends. In Sweden it’s kind of calm. I think it’s helping because I’m in Sweden.”
We guess the Canucks too are taking it easy...