OK, gang- I missed Monday due to a lot of snow shoveling and other things, but am here with the updated draft pick scenario for this week.
The good news for Bruins fans is that the Leafs lost last night to Buffalo, who swept the home-and-home series and have won something like eight or nine straight games against their regional rival.
The bad news is that it took Derek Roy until overtime to get the winning goal, so Toronto got a point and moved up and out of the lottery range for the first time since I started this blog back during the second week of the NHL season.
Let's face it- the Leafs are a better team than they've shown; they are not a dead-last entry and we all kind of knew it. At the same time, they will have a tough schedule in January, so we'll have a real inclination of where in the standings we can expect the Leafs to sit when all is said and done based on what they do next month. They've given up an inordinate amount of points early; this hurts them because they can't get those back, so they essentially have to play winning hockey the rest of the way to have a sniff at the playoffs.
My guess is that they'll finish somewhere around where they did last year: at the 7th or 8th draft spot, which isn't a bad place to be for Boston in this 2010 class. If the Leafs are anywhere near five overall, then Bruins fans should be thrilled, because they'll be in prime shape to add some quality talent to the organization in both the first and second rounds.
OK- without further ado, here is where Boston would be picking if the season ended today (not taking the lottery into account):
5th overall- Toronto (34 points; 13-16-8)
19th overall- Boston (41 points; 17-11-7)
35th overall- Toronto
36th overall- Tampa Bay (35 points; 13-14-9)
49th overall- Boston
5, 19, 35, 36 and 49- all five picks still in the top-50, with 1 in the top-10, and another in the top-20.
By comparison, in 2008, when the Bruins came away with two of their better prospects in Joe Colborne and Max Sauve, they did it with the 16th and 45th overall selections, so the potential for adding quality and quality to the team's organizational system is considerable.