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The Milwaukee Bucks are the 2021 NBA champions after rallying from a 2-0 series deficit against the Phoenix Suns.

Now what?

We’re not wasting any time spinning forward to next season, where a host of current contenders and potential superteams will aim to unseat Giannis Antetokounmpo & Co. in 2022.

What will the Los Angeles Lakers look like in Year 3 of the LeBron JamesAnthony Davis partnership? What kind of juggernaut will the Brooklyn Nets evolve into as their star trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving (hopefully) returns to full health? Are these Suns one and done, or is a repeat Finals trip in their future?

Let’s take a way-too-early look at where all 30 teams stand immediately following the Bucks’ impressive road to the NBA championship.

Note: These rankings are based on where the members of our panel (ESPN’s Tim Bontemps, Nick Friedell, Andrew Lopez, Tim MacMahon, Kevin Pelton, Royce Young and Ohm Youngmisuk) think teams belong heading into next season, taking into account potential player movement and the draft. Title odds for 2022 by Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill.

1. Milwaukee Bucks
2020-21 record: 46-26
Result: NBA champions
2022 title odds: +900

The Bucks went all-in last offseason in trading for Jrue Holiday and were repaid for doing so by winning the title Tuesday night with their victory over the Suns in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. With Holiday, Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo all locked up long term, Milwaukee should be a threat in the East for years to come. The focus now will be on whether Milwaukee is able to re-sign P.J. Tucker, who is an unrestricted free agent, and whether it can come up with an extension for Donte DiVincenzo, the Bucks’ talented young shooting guard who missed most of the playoffs after undergoing ankle surgery. — Bontemps


2. Brooklyn Nets
2020-21 record: 48-24
Result: Lost in East semis
2022 title odds: +230

For their first full season together, the Big Three in Brooklyn had a difficult end to the year, with injuries derailing the superteam nature of the roster and leaving Kevin Durant essentially trying to carry the Nets alone. It was an awkward season overall, with injuries, health and safety protocols and plenty of getting-to-know-you going on, but clearly the path forward for the Nets is bright. They have some questions on the complementary side of the roster, with Spencer Dinwiddie declining his player option and low-salary players Blake Griffin, Bruce Brown and Jeff Green set to become free agents. The Nets are top heavy for good reason, but as this postseason showed, quality depth can be just as valuable at times. — Young


3. Phoenix Suns
2020-21 record: 51-21
Result: Lost in NBA Finals
2022 title odds: +1500

After a disappointing loss in the NBA Finals, the Suns have to figure out one thing: how to get back and win it all. As the Western Conference gets healthier, the Suns’ road back to another Finals will start this offseason with a decision on Chris Paul‘s future. The Point God has a $44.2 million player option that would likely carry the Suns into the luxury tax. Paul could opt out of the deal and try to secure more guaranteed money with more years, though. Phoenix is also looking at negotiating the rookie extensions of former No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges. — Lopez


4. Los Angeles Lakers
2020-21 record: 42-30
Result: Lost in Round 1
2022 title odds: +400

For the defending champion Lakers, a first-round exit against the Suns with LeBron James still not 100% and Anthony Davis knocked out of the series by injury had a silver lining: After going through the shortest offseason in NBA history, the Lakers get a relatively normal break this offseason. James and Davis should be healthy in October and ready to go for a second title together. Still, there are questions about who will surround them with up to 11 Lakers becoming free agents, including starting point guard Dennis Schroder hitting unrestricted free agency after turning down a contract extension. — Pelton


5. Philadelphia 76ers
2020-21 record: 49-23
Result: Lost in East semis
2022 title odds: +1800

Following their disastrous second-round exit at the hands of the Hawks, the 76ers enter the offseason with one question looming over the franchise: Is it finally time for the Ben SimmonsJoel Embiid partnership to be dissolved? If it is, Daryl Morey, Philadelphia’s president of basketball operations, will have to craft a deal that can allow the Sixers to find the playoff breakthrough they’ve been searching for. If it isn’t, then all eyes will be on Simmons this fall to see if he can fix his free throw issues from the playoffs, and if he can add some semblance of a jumper to his arsenal. — Bontemps


6. Utah Jazz
2020-21 record: 52-20
Result: Lost in West semis
2022 title odds: +1500

How much luxury tax is new owner Ryan Smith willing to pay after the Jazz finished the regular season with the NBA’s best record but were bounced in the second round of the playoffs? The extensions for franchise cornerstones Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell start next season, which puts Utah right at the luxury tax line before free agency opens. That means the Jazz will have to pay an especially steep price to keep point guard Mike Conley, a must if Utah intends to contend in the immediate future. It could also factor into the decision on using the $5.9 million taxpayer midlevel exception, perhaps on a player who could be utilized at center in small-ball lineups. — MacMahon


7. Denver Nuggets
2020-21 record: 47-25
Result: Lost in West semis
2022 title odds: +2500

Nikola Jokic had an MVP campaign, and the Nuggets looked like legitimate title contenders until Jamal Murray tore his ACL. Without Murray, they couldn’t make it out of the second round of the playoffs. Now the Nuggets have to patiently wait for Murray to heal while building on what they had going before Murray went down. Denver can give Michael Porter Jr. a five-year, $168 million max extension this offseason or let him become a restricted free agent in 2022. Porter had a stretch in the second half when he played like a star. Aaron Gordon, who came in a big trade at the deadline, is set to enter the last season of his contract; Paul Millsap and JaVale McGee are free agents; and Will Barton and JaMychal Green can opt out of their deals. Meanwhile, the Nuggets have to improve their backcourt depth. — Youngmisuk


8. Atlanta Hawks
2020-21 record: 41-31
Result: Lost in East finals
2022 title odds: +3000

The Hawks shocked just about everyone outside of Atlanta with their run to the conference finals, and they might have made it even further had Trae Young not injured his ankle by stepping on an official’s foot. Young’s impressive performance in the playoffs (28.8 points, 9.5 assists) showed he could carry a team when it matters. But will his team look the same next season? John Collins‘ status as a restricted free agent could mean Young will be without one of his favorite targets. But with Young’s play and Nate McMillan’s interim tag being lifted, there’s still plenty of optimism moving forward. — Lopez


9. LA Clippers
2020-21 record: 47-25
Result: Lost in West finals
2022 title odds: +2000

The Clippers redeemed themselves for their 2020 bubble meltdown with a resilient run to the Western Conference finals, but they enter the offseason with uncertainty surrounding their future and that of Kawhi Leonard. The franchise player had surgery to repair a partially torn ACL, and it remains to be seen how much of next season he could miss. Also, Leonard has a player option in his deal and can become a free agent in August. Back in December, Leonard said, “Obviously, if I’m healthy, the best decision is to decline the player option. But that doesn’t mean I’m leaving or staying.” Serge Ibaka also has a player option. Reggie Jackson‘s playoff surge might have increased his value on the free-agent market beyond what the Clippers can give him. Paul George will need help to keep the Clippers in contention until Leonard returns (if he doesn’t opt out and sign elsewhere). The Clippers can still use additional front-court depth and a point guard/leader who can improve their IQ/offensive efficiency. — Youngmisuk


10. Dallas Mavericks
2020-21 record: 42-30
Result: Lost in Round 1
2022 title odds: +3000

The Mavericks already made some major changes, hiring the tandem of GM Nico Harrison and head coach Jason Kidd to replace the departed duo of Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle. The immediate challenge: upgrading the roster in Dallas’ final offseason of salary-cap flexibility before the supermax extension Luka Doncic is expected to sign this summer kicks in. The Mavs recognize the need to add another playmaker to complement Doncic. Can they find a way to do that and re-sign Tim Hardaway Jr.? — MacMahon


11. Miami Heat
2020-21 record: 40-32
Result: Lost in Round 1
2022 title odds: +3000

The bubble hangover was real for a Miami team that could never find the same kind of magic it had during its push to the 2020 Finals. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo will be motivated to prove that their run wasn’t just a flash in the pan, but Heat president Pat Riley will have some tough roster decisions to make. Respected veterans Goran Dragic and Andre Iguodala both have team options, and point guard Kendrick Nunn is a restricted free agent. The Heat still have plenty of top-line talent, but they need young shooter Tyler Herro to take another step in his development to fortify the team’s depth. Riley also must decide what to do with Victor Oladipo, who is an unrestricted free agent and is coming off another quad injury. — Friedell


12. Golden State Warriors
2020-21 record: 39-33
Result: Lost in West play-in
2022 title odds: +1000

It’s a big offseason for a Warriors squad that hopes to jump back into the thick of the Western Conference playoff picture. Stephen Curry reminded everybody that he can still play at an MVP level while dominating at times during the 2020-21 season. Andrew Wiggins registered arguably the most complete season of his eight-year career. Draymond Green showed that he can still be a dominant force when motivated — but even with all that the Warriors still couldn’t make it back to the playoffs. Now the organization must hope that veteran Klay Thompson can return to form after missing two years because of ACL and Achilles injuries and 2020 No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman can find his form after an up-and-down rookie season. The Warriors also must find more depth, likely in the form of the No. 7 and No. 14 picks in the 2021 draft. — Friedell


13. Boston Celtics
2020-21 record: 36-36
Result: Lost in Round 1
2022 title odds: +5000

After one of the most stable organizations in the league went through some massive changes — Brad Stevens replacing Danny Ainge atop the organization, Ime Udoka replacing Stevens on the sidelines and the Celtics’ trade swapping Kemba Walker and their first-round pick for Al Horford — Boston enters the offseason with two key questions to answer. The first is whether the Celtics will re-sign Evan Fournier, whom they acquired at the trade deadline and is an unrestricted free agent. The other is whether they can agree to a long-term contract extension with Marcus Smart — and if not, whether the team will attempt to trade him, rather than risk him leaving next summer for nothing. — Bontemps


14. New York Knicks
2020-21 record: 41-31
Result: Lost in Round 1
2022 title odds: +6000

The curse of overachieving, as the Knicks did in 2020-21, is it raises the expectations for the following year. It will now be up to New York to try to raise its talent level to meet the rising bar. There are a few things left for them to sort out. First, New York has to see if Julius Randle is willing to take a contract extension. Second, it has to decide whether to decline Mitchell Robinson‘s very affordable team option, making him a restricted free agent, or pick it up — meaning he will be an unrestricted free agent in 2022. Finally, with a bunch of cap space, will New York try to use it or again be patient? — Bontemps


15. Memphis Grizzlies
2020-21 record: 38-34
Result: Lost in Round 1
2022 title odds: +8000

GM Zach Kleiman has done an excellent job as the architect of the Grizzlies’ rapid rebuild, but his one major misfire so far has been the expensive trade for forward Justise Winslow. Will the Grizzlies cut their losses and decline Winslow’s $13 million option — giving them $22 million of salary cap space — or will they give the 25-year-old another season to prove he can be the playmaking wing Memphis envisioned as a complement to Ja Morant? Another complicated issue: Can the Grizzlies and Jaren Jackson Jr. (given his injury history) agree to an extension of his rookie deal that makes sense for both sides? — MacMahon


16. Portland Trail Blazers
2020-21 record: 42-30
Result: Lost in Round 1
2022 title odds: +5000

The offseason already has been sloppy for the Blazers, starting with the transition from long-time coach Terry Stotts to Chauncey Billups. Besides the controversial nature of the hire (Billups faced rape allegations in 1997) and the questions over transparency that came with it, the Blazers are in a pinch in trying to satisfy the ambitions of Damian Lillard. General manager Neil Olshey indicated after Portland’s first-round exit to the Nuggets that the existing roster wasn’t the issue, so any changes might be on the fringes, with internal development around Billups’ approach being the focus. But there always looms the nuclear option, with CJ McCollum‘s name routinely coming up in trade rumors. Could Olshey make a bold play to try to bump the Blazers back to the top half of the West? — Young


17. Indiana Pacers
2020-21 record: 34-38
Result: Lost in East play-in
2022 title odds: +6000

Who says you can’t go home again? Rick Carlisle did just that after resigning from his coaching position with the Mavericks to head back to Indiana for a third time: He was an assistant from 1997 to 2000 and then head coach from 2003 to ’07. Indiana is coming off a season in which it missed the playoffs for the first time in six years, and there is no plan for a rebuild. Now, whether Indiana tries to run it back with a healthier version of last season’s roster or makes some moves to change it up remains to be seen. — Lopez


18. Charlotte Hornets
2020-21 record: 33-39
Result: Lost in East play-in
2022 title odds: +10000

The Hornets just missed a playoff berth, but the future still appears bright in Charlotte thanks to the breakout play of LaMelo Ball. The 19-year-old point guard gave the Hornets the type of electricity they’ve been searching for in recent years, and with the improved play of a young core that includes Devonte’ Graham, P.J. Washington, Miles Bridges and Malik Monk, the Hornets appear to have the pieces in place to push back into the postseason. Gordon Hayward‘s ability to stay on the floor will be crucial for a young team that has a promising future with Ball paired alongside veteran guard Terry Rozier. — Friedell


19. Toronto Raptors
2020-21 record: 27-45
Result: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +6000

Toronto’s lost season in Tampa, Florida, proved to be a blessing in one way, at least, as the Raptors jumped up in the lottery to nab the fourth overall selection in next week’s NBA draft. That will guarantee the Raptors, assuming they don’t trade the pick, will come away with one of the star players in the top tier of this year’s draft class: Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley or Jalen Suggs. While that decision will come first, the next is whether Toronto will be able to retain point guard Kyle Lowry. After choosing not to trade him at the deadline, the Raptors now at least have the opportunity to keep him with the team he has been with the past nine years, assuming a deal can be struck that makes sense for both sides. — Bontemps


20. Washington Wizards
2020-21 record: 34-38
Result: Lost in Round 1
2022 title odds: +10000

With new coach Wes Unseld Jr. replacing Scott Brooks, Washington GM Tommy Sheppard will be focused on doing what he can to surround Bradley Beal with a winning product. The trade for Russell Westbrook helped get the Wizards into the playoffs despite a COVID-19 outbreak that threatened their season. Now Sheppard has to continue building a winner, and that starts with keeping Beal, who enters the last guaranteed year of his contract. Washington must improve its defense, add impactful veterans but also continue to develop young talent such as Rui Hachimura, Deni Avdija and Daniel Gafford. Getting healthy will help after losing Thomas Bryant and Avdija to season-ending injuries. — Youngmisuk


21. New Orleans Pelicans
2020-21 record: 31-41
Result: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +8000

After a disappointing finish to the season, New Orleans and coach Stan Van Gundy parted ways after just one 72-game stretch. Now, Phoenix Suns assistant Willie Green will be tasked with trying to get the Pelicans on the right track. The Pelicans have major decisions to make with restricted free agents Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart as well as whether they’ll trade or keep the No. 10 pick in the upcoming draft. But ultimately Green will have to make a roster centered around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram work better than Van Gundy did. — Lopez


22. San Antonio Spurs
2020-21 record: 33-39
Result: Lost in West play-in
2022 title odds: +25000

After making the playoffs for an NBA-record-tying 22 consecutive seasons, the Spurs have now missed the playoffs in back-to-back years after falling short in the bubble in 2020 and losing in the play-in tournament in 2021. The biggest question facing the Spurs this season will be what happens with several of the team’s veterans who are now free agents, starting with DeMar DeRozan. If DeRozan, Patty Mills and Rudy Gay move on, the Spurs could be major players in free agency or could even get assets back in a potential DeRozan sign-and-trade deal if they choose that route. — Lopez


23. Chicago Bulls
2020-21 record: 31-41
Result: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +10000

The Bulls took a big swing when they traded for veteran big man Nikola Vucevic at the deadline, but it didn’t pan out the way the organization hoped. Now the Bulls have to find a way to improve without a top-10 pick this year (not to mention another future first-rounder headed Orlando’s way) while big cap questions persist. Zach LaVine became an All-Star for the first time this past season and will be looking for a max extension in the near future. Will the Bulls try to use their salary cap space this summer to hammer out a deal with him or use it somewhere else? What about former No. 7 pick Lauri Markkanen? He hasn’t improved the way the Bulls hoped and appears headed for a fresh start somewhere else. Chicago remains in the middle of a rebuild, but it is unclear how much it will be able to improve without the draft capital that most young teams use to improve. — Friedell


24. Sacramento Kings
2020-21 record: 31-41
Result: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +25000

A 31-41 finish saw the Kings tie the Clippers (from 1976-77 through 1990-91) for the longest playoff drought in NBA history. New GM Monte McNair preached patience in his first year, hoping to avoid the mistakes of his predecessors, and added All-Rookie First Team pick Tyrese Haliburton to a backcourt that already included De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield. This season, the pressure will be on third-year head coach Luke Walton to improve Sacramento’s dismal defense, which ranked last in the league by allowing 116.5 points per 100 possessions. Re-signing starting center Richaun Holmes, an unrestricted free agent, would help. — Pelton


25. Minnesota Timberwolves
2020-21 record: 23-49
Result: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +30000

After a strong finish to the regular season and some positive growth under coach Chris Finch, the Wolves are entering the offseason with some expectations. The development of Anthony Edwards was a significant positive from an overall tough season, and in the games in which the Wolves had their full roster available, they were competitive against even the upper crust of the West. General manager Gersson Rosas hasn’t been shy about roster tweaks, saying after the season he believes they have a current core of five players to build on, but are in need of seven or eight additions. They traded this year’s first-round pick to the Warriors two seasons ago to add D’Angelo Russell, so the additional help will have to come via trades or their midlevel exception in free agency. — Young


26. Detroit Pistons
2020-21 record: 20-52
Result: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +30000

Despite last year’s 20-52 finish, there’s reason for hope in the Motor City. The first draft for GM Troy Weaver yielded a pair of hits in All-Rookie First Team pick Saddiq Bey and second-team selection Isaiah Stewart. (The jury is still out on No. 7 overall pick Killian Hayes.) Meanwhile, Team USA Olympian Jerami Grant showed the ability to shoulder a heavy scoring load with reasonable efficiency. To that core, the Pistons add this year’s No. 1 overall pick. Although that will likely still translate into a lottery team in 2021-22, the long-term future is bright in Detroit. — Pelton


27. Cleveland Cavaliers
2020-21 record: 22-50
Result: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +30000

This year’s No. 3 pick will be Cleveland’s highest pick since taking Andrew Wiggins No. 1 overall in 2014. The Cavaliers need to add a star and decide on the future of guard Collin Sexton. Sexton has shown the ability to score prolifically with above-average efficiency but might not fit well if Cleveland drafts a guard (likely Jalen Green or Jalen Suggs) and is due a rookie extension. With internal development and a full season from center Jarrett Allen (a restricted free agent), the Cavaliers should take a step forward after winning 60 games over the past three seasons. — Pelton


28. Orlando Magic
2020-21 record: 21-51
Result: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +30000

Another painful rebuild is underway for a Magic franchise that hasn’t been nationally relevant since trading away Dwight Howard in 2012. Former Mavericks assistant coach Jamahl Mosley takes over for Steve Clifford and is tasked with trying to build out a young roster that has big question marks. Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac are each coming off serious knee injuries as the Magic hold out hope that both can be key parts of their future. It is important that Magic president Jeff Weltman and his staff hit on the team’s lottery picks (No. 5 and No. 8) in the upcoming draft as the group continues to evaluate forward Wendell Carter Jr., who is up for a potential rookie extension. — Friedell


29. Oklahoma City Thunder
2020-21 record: 22-50
Result: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +50000

The Thunder have been quite transparent about their intentions, using the back end of last season to position themselves for the highest draft pick possible. The pingpong balls didn’t bounce their way, as they ended up with the sixth overall pick, complicating their building plan. But general manager Sam Presti is prudent, and patient, and won’t let that disappointment throw him off his game. He has more levers than anyone to pull if he wants to move up in the draft. But beyond who the Thunder take at No. 6 (or wherever), they also will look to lock up Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to an extension, solidifying a core player for the long term. — Young


30. Houston Rockets
2020-21 record: 17-55
Result: Missed postseason
2022 title odds: +50000

The most important decision the Rockets have to make this summer is what to do with the second overall pick in the draft. GM Rafael Stone intends to explore all options, including trading down, but Houston is certainly enamored with the star potential of Jalen Green after the teenage guard starred for the G League Ignite. He could be a great fit with the rebuilding Rockets’ promising young nucleus that includes Christian Wood, Kevin Porter Jr., Jae’Sean Tate and Kenyon Martin Jr. — plus a stockpile of future first-round picks. Houston has interest in re-signing veteran forward/center Kelly Olynyk. — MacMahon

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Frozen Four: How BC, BU, Denver and Michigan can win it all

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Frozen Four: How BC, BU, Denver and Michigan can win it all

The men’s NCAA hockey tournament, which started with 16 teams looking to earn a trip to St. Paul, Minnesota, is down to the Frozen Four, with some of the sport’s blue bloods vying for the national championship.

Three of the four No. 1 seeds — Boston College, Boston University and Denver — emerged from the regionals, with Michigan, a 5-2 winner over Michigan State, the fourth top seed, rounding out the field.

The Wolverines made their third straight Frozen Four with a 5-2 win over their Big Ten rivals Sunday at Maryland Heights, Missouri.

BC, the No. 1 overall seed, fought off defending national champion Quinnipiac, 5-4, in overtime to win the Providence (Rhode Island) Regional earlier in the day.

On Saturday, Boston University, the top seed in the Sioux Falls (South Dakota) Regional, and Denver, No. 1 in the Springfield (Massachusetts) Regional, punched their tickets with wins over Minnesota and Cornell, respectively.

The final four teams have won a combined 28 national titles, with Denver and Michigan tied for the most of all time with nine each, and Hockey East rivals BC and BU winning five each. Denver won the championship in 2022, BC’s last title came in 2012, BU’s in 2009 and Michigan’s in 1998.

The national semifinals are set for April 11 and the championship game April 13 at the Xcel Energy Center. Every game of the tournament will be aired on the ESPN family of networks and streamed on ESPN+.

Below is the tournament schedule, which will be updated with results as games are played. (An interactive bracket that will be updated can be found here.) Additionally, we have a look at the four contenders, including what each teams needs to do take home the championship.

Every game of the NCAA men’s hockey tournament, including the Frozen Four and championship game, will be available on ESPN+. Subscribe to watch!

Frozen Four schedule

All times Eastern

at Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minnesota

National semifinals, April 11

Denver vs. Boston University, 5 p.m. (ESPN2, ESPN+)

Boston College vs. Michigan, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN2, ESPN+)

National championship game, April 13
Semifinal winners, 6 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN+)


Teams at a glance

Boston College (33-5-1)

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Caps’ prospect Ryan Leonard buries goal for Boston College

Capitals’ draft prospect Ryan Leonard breaks the 1-1 tie with a nice goal for Boston College.

How the Eagles got here: The defending national champs had the No. 1 overall seed on the ropes as Quinnipiac took a 4-3 lead over Boston College in the first minute of the third period and nearly made it hold up. But the Eagles tied it with 4:44 remaining and won in overtime when Jack Malone poked home a loose puck after a scramble in front of the Quinnipiac net.

Entering the game, BC was clearly the hottest team in the country and had won its three postseason games (Hockey East, NCAA) by a combined 20-4 score. But when faced with the considerable pushback of Quinnipiac, the Eagles were up to the task, showing how adept they are at taking advantage of their scoring chances and how hard it is to keep them down for 60 minutes.

“It was a good game for us in terms of handling that adversity that coach is talking about and being down and not getting out of the fight,” Malone said. “There’s a lot of benefits and a lot of positives that we can take away from this game moving forward.”

History lesson: BC qualified for its 26th Frozen Four, second most all time behind Michigan. The Eagles have won their past 14 games to match the program record for wins in a season (33). BC has won five national titles, the last in 2012. Ryan Leonard had a pair of two-goal games at Providence, giving him 31 on the season to break the BC freshman record (Brian Gionta, 1997-98).

Providence takeaways

How BC can win it all in St. Paul: The key for the Eagles may be for them to not start showing their age now. BC is the youngest team in the country (Denver and BU are not far behind), but the Eagles aren’t only young, they rely heavily on underclassmen. Their five top scorers, with an astounding 291 combined points, are freshmen or sophomores, and 74.2% of the team’s points come from underclassmen. Goalie Jacob Fowler also is a freshman. The group already has played in a lot of big games (seven BC players won gold for the U.S. at world juniors, plus their 1 vs. 2 matchups with BU and the Hockey East tournament at sold-out TD Garden), but the Eagles certainly were on the ropes against Quinnipiac, a veteran team with national title experience. In recent years, that’s the sort of team that has had the most success in the Frozen Four.

Quinnipiac’s blueprint: Coach Rand Pecknold has built a fantastic program at Quinnipiac — five straight NCAA berths, nine in the past 11 years, three Frozen Fours and a national championship last season. While the Bobcats came up short in defending their title — a goal that led defensemen CJ McGee and Jayden Lee to return for a fifth season — the culture lives on. “It’s a brotherhood. It’s more than that,” Lee told College Hockey News. “Since the first day I stepped onto campus I’ve just been able to grow as a person and as a hockey player.” McGee said, “We never get to put this jersey on again and play games here. That’s really just unfortunate. It stinks.” — Steve Richards


Boston University (28-9-2)

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Lane Hutson notches go-ahead goal for Boston University

Lane Hutson sneaks the puck into the net to give Boston University a lead they don’t relinquish.

How the Terriers got here: On the surface, BU had the easiest time in the regionals, but that certainly doesn’t mean it was a breeze. After cruising past RIT, the Terriers fell into a 2-0 hole against Minnesota before battling back to take a 4-3 lead with less than five minutes left in the second period. BU then put the clamps on the Gophers’ attack in the third period before icing the win with a pair of empty-net goals.

“When you are up by a goal in the third period, you expect the other team to push,” BU coach Jay Pandolfo said. “But we played on our toes. We kept pushing, played on our toes. And when they did have a little push, we were there to sacrifice our bodies to block some shots.”

The Terriers showed off their star power against Minnesota with Lane Hutson scoring the go-ahead goal and Macklin Celebrini contributing three assists, including a pair of beauties to spark the comeback rally. Celebrini, the 17-year-old phenom, has 32 goals and 32 assists.

History lesson: In its 24th Frozen Four, BU is making back-to-back appearances for the first time in 27 years. The Terriers lost to Minnesota in the national semifinals in 2023. BU has won the national title five times, the last in 2009.

Sioux Falls takeaways

How BU can win it all in St. Paul: After Minnesota jumped out to a 2-0 lead, BU showed great patience in sticking to its game, getting on the board late in the first period, then scoring three times in the second. That dedication to the game plan will serve the Terriers well if they can maintain it during the Frozen Four. With 12 goals in their two regional games, they showed why they are the overall No. 2 seed and why Denver will have its hands full.

Disappointment for Minnesota: The Gophers played in two of the most dramatic games of the tournament, coming from behind against Omaha in the third period, then jumping out to the lead against BU. Jaxon Nelson scored three straight goals over the two games and almost willed the Gophers to the Frozen Four, where Minnesota would have had a nice home-ice advantage. — Andrew Raycroft


Denver (30-9-3)

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Sam Harris scores power-play game-winning goal vs. Cornell

Denver’s Sam Harris gets the win with a power-play goal to head to the NCAA men’s hockey Frozen Four.

How the Pioneers got here: Denver, the highest scoring team in the country, entered the NCAA tournament averaging 4.85 goals per game. In two games combined — 7½ periods in fact — at Springfield, the Pioneers failed to reach that mark. Entering the regional, Denver hadn’t won a game all season in which it scored fewer than three goals. But back-to-back 2-1 wins over UMass (double OT) and Cornell earned the Pios a trip to the Frozen Four.

That ticket was in doubt until the very end of the regional final, as Denver goalie Mark Davis held off a furious Cornell rally, making a game-saving save on Ryan Walsh in the closing seconds. The pair of tight, physical wins exemplified the improvement of the Pioneers defense, which was an issue the first half of the season but has allowed fewer than three goals in eight of their last 11 games.

“You look at our team, we’re comfortable playing any type of game now,” Denver coach David Carle said. “We have a lot of confidence regardless of the style of play.”

History lesson: This is Denver’s 19th Frozen Four appearance and its fifth in the past eight tournaments. The Pioneers’ nine national titles are tied with Michigan for the most all-time; they last won in 2021 and also took the title in 2017. They’ve reached 30 wins for the third consecutive season, a first in program history.

Springfield takeaways

How Denver can win it all at St. Paul: The Pioneers had to be encouraged by winning in the tough, physical style that typifies the NCAA tournament, but to win you have to put the puck in the net. In Springfield, Denver flashed its speed and skill when it found some room to work with — and the Pios don’t need a lot — and to win another title, they’ll have to take advantage of their opportunities. Those chances likely will continue to be scarce in St. Paul.

Hats off to the working folks: Day 1 in Springfield was a long one — more than seven hours of hockey, with puck drop shortly after 2 p.m. for Denver-UMass and the Cornell-Maine nightcap ending around 9:30 p.m. That meant a whole lot of overtime for the staff at the Mass Mutual Center, who surely were thankful the NCAA has added an off day before the regional final. — Steve Richards


Michigan (23-14-3)

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0:22

Frank Nazar III’s incredible between-the-legs pass sets up Michigan goal

Michigan extends its lead over Michigan State as Frank Nazar III sends an unbelievable pass to Gavin Brindley for a goal.

How the Wolverines got here: A trip to the Frozen Four seemed unlikely in mid-February when Michigan was 15-12-3 and had slipped to No. 17 in the USCHO poll. But since then, the Wolverines are 8-2, showing an uncanny ability to win tight games — six of those wins have come in one-goal games.

All those nail-biters bring a lot of pressure on the goaltender, but Michigan’s Jake Barczewski has seemed right at home. He was, in fact, right at home in the regionals as he grew up about 20 minutes from the arena. Barczewski, a grad transfer from Canisius, made 38 saves against Michigan State after keeping North Dakota at bay while his teammates overcame a sluggish start in their opener.

“Just like all of us, Barzs has been through his ups and downs,” Michigan coach Brandon Naurato said. “And throughout that whole time, everyone believes in him.”

History lesson: Michigan is in the Frozen Four for a record 28th time. It’s the Wolverines’ third straight appearance, something they last accomplished in 2001-03. While their nine national titles match Denver for the most in NCAA hockey history, they haven’t won it all since 1998 and have just two titles since 1964. Michigan is 1-8 in its last eight Frozen Four appearances.

Maryland Heights takeaways

How Michigan can win it all in St. Paul: The Wolverines outscored their opponents 7-2 in the third period of their two regional games, showing the closing ability that is key to winning championships. Michigan provided two upsets, on paper at least, in knocking off North Dakota 4-3 and taking down in-state rival Michigan State 5-2, and will face an even bigger challenge in Boston College, the unquestioned No. 1 overall seed. The Wolverines will look to avoid losing their fourth straight Frozen Four semifinal (vs. Quinnipiac last year, vs. Denver in 2022, vs. Notre Dame in 2018) — it’s great to get this far, but you want to win too. Dylan Duke paced Michigan at Maryland Heights with four goals and one assist.

A hot ticket: Besides the drama on the ice, ticket prices were the talk in St. Louis. With three programs with some of the biggest fan bases in the country playing in a 2,500-seat arena, tickets were scarce. This was the most competitive bracket on paper, and it lived up to the hype. All three games in the regional were up for grabs with less than 10 minutes left in the third period. — Andrew Raycroft

Regionals recap

Springfield (Massachusetts) Regional

Semifinals

Denver 2, UMass 1 (2OT)
Cornell 3, Maine 1

Final

Denver 2, Cornell 1

Denver wins Springfield Regional


Sioux Falls (South Dakota) Regional

Semifinals

Boston University 6, RIT 3
Minnesota 3, Omaha 2

Final

Boston University 6, Minnesota 3

Boston University wins Sioux Falls Regional


Providence (Rhode Island) Regional

Semifinals

Boston College 6, Michigan Tech 1
Quinnipiac 3, Wisconsin 2 (OT)

Final

Boston College 5, Quinnipiac 4 (OT)

Boston College wins Providence Regional


Maryland Heights (Missouri) Regional

Semifinals

Michigan State 5, Western Michigan 4 (OT)
Michigan 4, North Dakota 3

Final

Michigan 5, Michigan State 2

Michigan wins Maryland Heights Regional

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How Ippei Mizuhara descended into a sports betting nightmare

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How Ippei Mizuhara descended into a sports betting nightmare

In their complaint filed Thursday, federal investigators said they had conducted forensic reviews of the phone of Shohei Ohtani‘s former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, as well as devices belonging to “Bookmaker 1,” assumed to be Southern California bookie Mathew Bowyer, and “Bookmaker 2,” an associate of Bowyer’s.

Prosecutors accused Mizuhara of bank fraud and said he stole more than $16 million over several years from Ohtani. Before he was fired by the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 20, Mizuhara had interpreted for Ohtani since the superstar moved to the United States in 2018.

Texts among the parties, as laid out in the 37-page complaint, depict Mizuhara’s apparent descent into an uncontrolled sports betting addiction, and the bookie who kept extending his credit as long as Mizuhara covered his losses.

Getting started

Mizuhara has said he met Bowyer at a poker game in San Diego in 2021. According to the complaint, on or about Sept. 8, 2021, “Bookmaker 2” provides Mizuhara an account number, password and URL for an illegal betting website. About two weeks later, Mizuhara messages Bookmaker 2: “Ive just been messing around with soccer, theres games on 24/7 lol. I took UCLA but they lost outright!!!”

The same day, Mizuhara messages Bookmaker 2: “How does the withdrawing and paying work?” Bookmaker 2 responds later that day, “He pays and collects as the week ends Sunday night[.] Whatever you are up or down Sunday night you pay or receive[.] Last week you were down and he rolled it as hes ok with it[.] I say have a settle figure[.] Meaning pick a number you want to settle at either way[.]”

On Oct. 27, 2021, Bookmaker 2 messages Mizuhara: “[Bowyer] asked me to reach out to you . . . he sees you playing and wants to settle this by tomorrow[.] I can meet you or one his runners can.” Mizuhara responds, “I’m back in Anaheim now, is there any way to pay [Bowyer] via credit or debit card . . . I can wire the amount to his bank account. Do you know what bank he uses?”

Through the fall, text traffic indicates Mizuhara struggling to transfer funds to cover his debt because of bank limits or other issues. On or about Nov. 9, he tells Bookmaker 2: “tried almost every option possible and none of it is working. … this is super stressing.”

The next day, he tells Bookmaker 2 that he is “able to send 40k,” adding that it looks as if the method works “but I can only send 40k at a time.”

Losses mount

The federal complaint indicates Mizuhara’s losses mounted almost immediately. He repeatedly asks the bookies to “bump” his account, or increase his line of credit.

On Jan. 2, 2022, Mizuhara asks Bookmaker 2 if [Bowyer] could “reload my account? I lost it all.” Bookmaker 2 responds, “[Bowyer] bumped you 50k.” Thirteen days later, Mizuhara texts Bookmaker 2 again: “F— I lost it all lol . . . can you ask [Bowyer] if he can bump me 50k? That will be my last one for a while if I lose it.”

By Feb. 4, 2022, Mizuhara texts: “I made another transfer for 300k today since I lost the other 100k already.” Later that day, he confirms, “Wire went through!”

Over the next two years, according to the complaint, Mizuhara averaged 25 bets per day, ranging from $10 to $160,000 per bet, between December 2021 and this January — some 19,000 bets in all. His texts during this time show increasing desperation to catch up.

Some highlights of that time:

March 10, 2022: Mizuhara messages Bowyer asking him to reduce his credit from $300,000 to $100,000. “I’ll get too reckless with 300,” he says.

May 2022: Text messages from Mizuhara indicate he’s on a “bad run.” Despite Mizuhara owing Bowyer over $1 million, Bowyer continually increased Mizuhara’s betting limits, investigators said.

Nov. 14, 2022: Mizuhara texts Bowyer: “I’m terrible at this sport betting thing huh? Lol . . . Any chance u can bump me again?? As you know, you don’t have to worry about me not paying!!”

Dec. 9, 2022: Mizuhara texts Bowyer: “Can u bump me last 200? I swear on my mom this will be the last ask before I pay it off once I get back to the states. Sorry for keep on asking. . . .” Bowyer responds: “Np done bud. Merry Christmas.”

May 20, 2023: Bowyer texts Mizuhara: “I know you’ve been on a bad run. I don’t mind bumping u, I just want to verify that you can send at least 2M on June 1.”

June 22, 2023: Mizuhara texts Bowyer: “I got my ass kicked again lol . . . . Any chance I can get one last bump? This will be my last one for a while if I lose it. . . .” Bowyer responds: “Ok bud. I just want to be able to communicate with my partner so he knows expectations. If I can assure him that minimum 500 will be sent every week I can do the bump to whatever you want? It’s just imperative that the 500 is sent every week as you can imagine the figures are very high and just don’t want to not be able to deliver what I tell him[.] FYI I have already paid out of my pocket to him half of the balance that is on the account so whatever is lost every week I have to give him half of the balance that’s why I’m asking these direct important questions.”

June 24, 2023: Mizuhara texts Bowyer: “I have a problem lol. . . . Can I get one 13 last last last bump? This one is for real. … Last one for real[.]” Bowyer responds, “Done. I have the same problem. To be honest with you Ippie, as long as you can guarantee the 500 every Monday I’ll give you as much as you want because I know you’re good for it[.] again I just have to clean it up with my partner and that’s one reason why I was asking before.”

In the complaint, an investigator testified that wagers for Mizuhara’s account, “35966” as reflected on a bookie’s spreadsheet, reflect total winning bets of about $142 million, total losing bets of about $183 million, leaving a total negative balance of about $40.7 million.

Paybacks and veiled threats

According to the complaint, Mizuhara was attempting to pay back his debt from Ohtani’s account in a series of weekly $500,000 transactions, but after making some payments he stops and the tenor of texts with Bowyer shifts.

On June 20, 2023, he texts Bowyer: “It looks like I can only send 500 per week. … I put in a wire for 500 earlier today so it should be in your account by tomorrow. . . . does 500/week work for you?”

Federal authorities raid Bowyer’s house in October and seize cash, computers and phones, according to a search warrant obtained by ESPN. On or about Nov. 17, 2023, Bowyer texts Mizuhara: “Hey Ippie, it’s 2 o’clock on Friday. I don’t know why you’re not returning my calls. I’m here in Newport Beach and I see [Ohtani] walking his dog. I’m just gonna go up and talk to him and ask how I can get in touch with you since you’re not responding? Please call me back immediately.”

Two days later, Mizuhara texts Bowyer: “I’m gonna be honest, I ended up losing a lot of money on crypto the last couple years and I took a huge hit obviously with the sports too. . . . Just wanted to ask, is there any way we can settle on an amount? I’ve lost way too much on the site already . . . of course I know it’s my fault.”

On Dec. 15, Bowyer texts Mizuhara, stating “I know ur busy but u Need to show some respect. I put my neck out here. Call me by Tonight. I don’t care what time or how late it is.” Mizuhara responds the same day: “I’m so sorry bro . . . I really don’t mean to disrespect you at all I promise . . . it’s just been super super busy . . . and I’ve got other issues on the side going on too. everything has just been really really tough recently.”

This past Jan. 6, the complaint states, Bowyer texts Mizuhara: “you’re putting me in a position where this is going to get out of control. If I don’t hear from you by the end of the day today it’s gonna [sic] be out of my hands.” Mizuhara responds: “My bad man. . . . I just got back from Japan two days ago and I’m leaving tomorrow again . . . I’ll be back in mid January. To be honest with you, I’m really struggling right now and I need some time before I start to make payments.”

From January to March, Mizuhara spends about $325,000 of Ohtani’s money on approximately 1,000 baseball cards, and has them mailed to the Dodgers clubhouse under the alias “Jay Min,” the filing says. Mizuhara buys the memorabilia, which included cards for Yogi Berra, Juan Soto and Ohtani, with the intent to resell it, according to the affidavit.

On March 20, news breaks that at least $4.5 million was transmitted from Ohtani’s account to Bowyer’s operation. Mizuhara first tells ESPN that Ohtani paid his debts before changing his story hours later to say Ohtani had no knowledge of his gambling. Mizuhara asks Bowyer if he has seen the media reports. Bowyer responds, “Yes, but that’s all bulls—. Obviously you didn’t steal from him. I understand it’s a cover job I totally get it,” Mizuhara responds, “Technically I did steal from him. it’s all over for me.”

ESPN’s Tisha Thompson contributed to this report.

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NHL playoff watch: Red Wings-Penguins is Thursday’s main event

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NHL playoff watch: Red Wings-Penguins is Thursday's main event

Although six teams have clinched a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference half of the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs bracket, there is a fierce battle being contested for those final two spots among five teams. Two of them play against each other Thursday.

The Detroit Red Wings visit the Pittsburgh Penguins (7 p.m. ET, NHL Power Play on ESPN+), with both attempting to overtake the Washington Capitals, who play the Buffalo Sabres (7 p.m. ET, NHL Power Play on ESPN+).

Prior to Thursday’s games, the Capitals hold the second wild-card position, with 85 points and 29 regulation wins through 78 games; the Red Wings (84 and 27 through 78 games) and Penguins (84 and 31 through 78 games) are right on the Caps’ heels, and the Philadelphia Flyers (83 and 28 through 79 games) are just behind them (although their recent 1-6-3 stretch has torpedoed their playoff chances, generally). The Flyers face the tall task of skating against the juggernaut New York Rangers on Thursday night (7 p.m. ET, NHL Power Play on ESPN+).

For all of the non-Detroit teams, another avenue to the playoffs exists by way of the No. 3 seed in the Metro Division. The New York Islanders hold that position, with 87 points and 27 regulation wins through 78 games ahead of their game against the Montreal Canadiens (7:30 p.m. ET, NHL Power Play on ESPN+).

As has been the case seemingly every night for the past two weeks, expect some major movement in the chaotic Eastern wild-card race tonight!

As we traverse the final stretch of the regular season, it’s time to check in on all the playoff races — along with the teams jockeying for position in the 2024 NHL draft lottery.

Note: Playoff chances are via Stathletes.

Jump ahead:
Current playoff matchups
Clinching scenarios
Thursday’s schedule
Wednesday’s scores
Expanded standings
Race for No. 1 pick

Current playoff matchups

Eastern Conference

A1 Boston Bruins vs. WC1 Tampa Bay Lightning
A2 Florida Panthers vs. A3 Toronto Maple Leafs
M1 New York Rangers vs. WC2 Washington Capitals
M2 Carolina Hurricanes vs. M3 New York Islanders

Western Conference

C1 Dallas Stars vs. WC2 Vegas Golden Knights
C2 Colorado Avalanche vs. C3 Winnipeg Jets
P1 Vancouver Canucks vs. WC1 Nashville Predators
P2 Edmonton Oilers vs. P3 Los Angeles Kings


Clinching scenarios

1. The Los Angeles Kings will clinch a playoff berth with a win against the Calgary Flames in any fashion.

2. The Dallas Stars will clinch the Central Division title with a win over the Winnipeg Jets in any fashion.


Thursday’s games

Note: All times ET. All games not on TNT or NHL Network are available via NHL Power Play, which is included in an ESPN+ subscription (local blackout restrictions apply).

Washington Capitals at Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m.
New Jersey Devils at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m.
Ottawa Senators at Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 p.m.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Florida Panthers, 7 p.m.
Philadelphia Flyers at New York Rangers, 7 p.m.
Detroit Red Wings at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 p.m.
Montreal Canadiens at New York Islanders, 7:30 p.m.
Winnipeg Jets at Dallas Stars, 8 p.m.
San Jose Sharks at Seattle Kraken, 10 p.m.
Calgary Flames at Los Angeles Kings, 10:30 p.m.


Wednesday’s scoreboard

St. Louis Blues 5, Chicago Blackhawks 2
Edmonton Oilers 5, Vegas Golden Knights 1
Arizona Coyotes 4, Vancouver Canucks 3 (OT)


Expanded standings

Atlantic Division

Points: 107
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: A1
Games left: 3
Points pace: 111
Next game: @ PIT (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 104
Regulation wins: 40
Playoff position: A2
Games left: 3
Points pace: 108
Next game: vs. CBJ (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 101
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: A3
Games left: 4
Points pace: 106
Next game: vs. NJ (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 95
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 4
Points pace: 100
Next game: vs. OTT (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 84
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Points pace: 88
Next game: @ PIT (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 33.2%
Tragic number: 7

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 3
Points pace: 82
Next game: vs. WSH (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 1

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Points pace: 76
Next game: @ TB (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Points pace: 76
Next game: @ NYI (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Metropolitan Division

Points: 110
Regulation wins: 42
Playoff position: M1
Games left: 3
Points pace: 114
Next game: vs. PHI (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 107
Regulation wins: 42
Playoff position: M2
Games left: 3
Points pace: 111
Next game: @ STL (Friday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 87
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: M3
Games left: 4
Points pace: 92
Next game: vs. MTL (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 83.5%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 85
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 4
Points pace: 89
Next game: @ BUF (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 44.4%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 84
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Points pace: 88
Next game: vs. DET (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 34.5%
Tragic number: 8

Points: 83
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 3
Points pace: 86
Next game: @ NYR (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 4.4%
Tragic number: 4

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 3
Points pace: 82
Next game: @ TOR (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 1

Points: 64
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 3
Points pace: 66
Next game: @ FLA (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Central Division

Points: 109
Regulation wins: 39
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 3
Points pace: 113
Next game: vs. WPG (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 104
Regulation wins: 41
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 3
Points pace: 108
Next game: vs. WPG (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 102
Regulation wins: 42
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 4
Points pace: 107
Next game: @ DAL (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 95
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 3
Points pace: 99
Next game: @ CHI (Friday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 89
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 3
Points pace: 92
Next game: vs. CAR (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0.5%
Tragic number: 3

Points: 83
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Points pace: 87
Next game: @ VGK (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 3
Points pace: 76
Next game: @ EDM (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Points pace: 54
Next game: vs. NSH (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Pacific Division

Points: 105
Regulation wins: 42
Playoff position: P1
Games left: 3
Points pace: 109
Next game: @ EDM (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 101
Regulation wins: 38
Playoff position: P2
Games left: 5
Points pace: 108
Next game: vs. ARI (Friday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 93
Regulation wins: 35
Playoff position: P3
Games left: 4
Points pace: 98
Next game: vs. CGY (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 92
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 4
Points pace: 97
Next game: vs. MIN (Friday)
Playoff chances: 99.6%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 5
Points pace: 84
Next game: vs. SJ (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 5
Points pace: 80
Next game: @ LA (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 57
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 3
Points pace: 59
Next game: vs. CGY (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 4
Points pace: 47
Next game: @ SEA (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

p — clinched Presidents’ Trophy
y — clinched division
x — clinched playoff berth
e — eliminated from playoff contention


Race for the No. 1 pick

The NHL uses a draft lottery to determine the order of the first round, so the team that finishes in last place is not guaranteed the No. 1 selection. As of 2021, a team can move up a maximum of 10 spots if it wins the lottery, so only 11 teams are eligible for the draw for the No. 1 pick. Full details on the process can be found here. Sitting No. 1 on the draft board for this summer is Macklin Celebrini, a freshman at Boston University.

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 13

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 17

Points: 57
Regulation wins: 20

Points: 64
Regulation wins: 20

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 20

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 24

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 27

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 29

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 27

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 31

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 32

Points: 83
Regulation wins: 28

Points: 83
Regulation wins: 30

Points: 84
Regulation wins: 27

Points: 84
Regulation wins: 31

Points: 89
Regulation wins: 30

* The Penguins’ first-round pick was traded to the Sharks as part of the Erik Karlsson trade. However, it is top-10 protected.

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