Tank brigade: Looking at the 5 worst teams’ chances of finishing dead last

With just a few weeks left in the regular season, there's plenty yet to be determined in the NHL standings.

Several teams are still jockeying for postseason positions in both divisional and wild-card races. However, there's an intriguing race at the bottom of the standings as well, with quite a prize, Swedish sensation Rasmus Dahlin, on the line for whoever wins the draft lottery.

Only seven points separate 31st and 27th place in the league standings, so with ample time for shakeup, let's take a peek at the stretch-run outlook for the bottom-five teams in the league.

(All stats entering Tuesday's games. ROW = Regulation/overtime wins, and is the first tiebreaker rule in the standings)

Arizona Coyotes, 55 points (22-35-11)

ROW: 21

Games Remaining Home (record) Away (record) Games vs. playoff opponents Odds at No. 1 pick
14  6 (13-18-4) 8 (9-17-7) 6 18%

After occupying 31st place all season, the Coyotes have picked the wrong time to get things straightened out. Thanks to strong play from goaltender Antti Raanta (who is sidelined again with a lingering issue), Arizona is 6-3-1 in its last 10 games and has made the tank race much closer than we could have imagined.

That said, the Coyotes face a five-game road trip that features two back-to-backs from March 21-29, which, considering their record in opposing arenas this season, is probably a good thing for their lottery odds.

Buffalo Sabres, 56 points (22-35-12)

ROW: 21

Games Remaining Home (record) Away (record) Games vs. playoff opponents Odds at No. 1 pick
13 7 (10-19-5) 6 (12-16-7) 6 12.5%

It hasn't been a banner year for the Sabres, who rank dead last with a minus-59 goal differential in the first season of the Jason Botterill-Phil Housely regime.

With three games versus the Toronto Maple Leafs, two against the Nashville Predators, and one date with the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning down the stretch, Buffalo has serious potential to push ahead of the Coyotes in the race to 31st - a battle that will be kicked into overdrive when the clubs clash on March 21. Be sure to circle your calendars.

Vancouver Canucks, 59 points (25-36-9)

ROW: 25

Games Remaining Home (record) Away (record) Games vs. playoff opponents Odds at No. 1 pick
12 6 (12-17-6) 6 (12-16-7) 6 10.5%

Perhaps the hottest team in the Fallin' for Dahlin sweepstakes is the Canucks, who've lost four consecutive games - including two to the Coyotes - while managing just three goals in that span.

With Brock Boeser out for the season, it doesn't appear Vancouver's goal-scoring issues are soon to be rectified, either.

Ottawa Senators, 59 points (24-33-11)

ROW: 22

Games Remaining Home (record) Away (record) Games vs. playoff opponents Odds at No. 1 pick 
14 7 (14-14-6) 7 (10-19-5) 6 9.5%

The Senators have their remaining games evenly split between home and away, but in addition to playing six teams currently slotted in the playoffs, they also have two matchups with the Florida Panthers - one of the hottest teams in the league which sits on the cusp of the postseason cut line.

Ottawa dropping a couple extra games to close out a tumultuous season - both on the ice and in the front office - to bolster its odds at landing a generationally talented Swedish defenseman may be the best course of action, just in case the other one already within the organization, pictured above, gets shipped out of town in the summer.

Montreal Canadiens, 62 points (25-32-12)

ROW: 23

Games Remaining Home (record) Away (record) Games vs. playoff opponents Odds at No. 1 pick
13 7 (16-10-8) 6 (9-22-4) 9 8.5%

The Habs face a tough task in erasing a seven-point gap, but could potentially increase their lottery odds with two road contests - Montreal's only won nine games away from the Bell Centre so far - versus the Pittsburgh Penguins and one in Toronto.

Additionally, Dallas, Florida, Winnipeg, New Jersey, and Washington all visit Montreal before season's end to face a team that's already shut down three key pieces in Shea Weber, Max Pacioretty, and Carey Price. Maybe that gap isn't so big after all.

(Photos Courtesy: Getty Images)

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