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Inspirational thought of the week:

“I know where I’d go.”
“Where?”
“I’d go to Akron. I’d go there with a pretty woman. A strange woman. A quiet woman. I wouldn’t even want to know her name. Where I would be just ‘Mr. Smith’ and I would send out for cold beer. Then I would tell her things. Things that I’ve never told to anyone. Things that are locked deep in here. And as I talk to her, I would want her to hold out a soft hand and say, ‘Poor thing. Poor, poor thing.'”
“How long would you want this to go on, doctor?”
“Two weeks.”
“Two weeks? Wouldn’t that get a little monotonous? Just Akron, cold beer and ‘poor thing’ for two weeks?”
“No, it would be wonderful.”

— Cecil Kellaway and Jimmy Stewart as Dr. Chumley and Elwood P. Dowd in “Harvey”

Here at Bottom 10 Headquarters, located in the room of file cabinets where Deion Sanders stores all the Power 5 job offers that he wants us to know about but doesn’t plan to take, we have been thrown off of our collective axis. Our schedule is uglier and more broken down than a Pontiac Aztek. Our calendar has been erased more times than someone trying to use an Etch A Sketch in a centrifuge. What we’re saying is that our normal end-of-regular-season routine has been ruined. Instead of the usual meeting of our Bottom 10 Selection Committee at the DFW Hacienda Courts, our annual assemblage of college football minds such as Jerry Glanville, Charlie Weis and Ed “Straight Arrow” Gennero, we told them all to stay home.

Why? The season isn’t over yet. No, none of our teams suddenly received an invite to a conference championship game. The problem is that a mountain of snow two weekends ago kept one of our contenders from playing its final game and now we have to wait to see what happens.

Dammit, Akron.

So, instead of holding our normal fake CFP committee vote, we have gone full old school and are instead employing a fake old-school BCS approach. Yes, we are doing math. But as opposed to relying on the sorcerously accurate ESPN FPI — the Football Power Index — we have conjured up the Bottom 10 FPI — the Faux Pas Index.

It’s simple really. And by simple, we mean totally convoluted. Teams receive one point for each win, minus one point for each loss, minus one point for each loss of their longest losing streak of the year, plus a minus-10 bonus if that streak is currently active. We also subtract the number of points they have surrendered from the number of points they have scored, subtract or add points based on turnover margin and throw in a 50-point reduction if they have fired their head coach this season, aka the Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus. Divide that by the number of games played — let’s call that the Akron Principle — and there’s your Bottom 10 FPI score.

So get off your ath, let’s do some math. Math, math, math, math, math.

With apologies to Dewey Finn, Euclid, former Michigan State Spartan Addie Gaddis and Steve Harvey, here’s the final (sort of) 2022 Bottom 10 rankings.

1. Colora-duh (1-11)

Wins: +1
Losses: -11
Longest losing streak: -6 (current -10)
185 points for, 534 points against: -349
Turnover margin: -12 (tied with Akron for fourth worst in FBS)
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: -50
Total: -437
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 Faux Pas Index: -36.42

While the Buffs wait to be rebuffed by Deion, they can at least spend that time celebrating a championship. We knew that 2022 had been a total mess, but once we pushed it through the numerical cheese grater of the Bottom 10 FPI formula, Colorado became the college football equivalent of Jared Leto’s “Morbius.” We were already plenty sure it was going to be bad. We just never could have imagined it would be that awful.

play

1:36

Keyshawn Johnson breaks down why Deion Sanders would be a good fit as the head coach at Colorado.

2. UMess (1-11)

Wins: +1
Losses: -11
Longest losing streak: -9 (current -10)
150 points for, 373 points against: -223
Turnover margin: -3
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: N/A
Score: -255
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -21.25

The Minutemen finished the year by losing back-to-back Pillow Fights of the Week against Arkansaw State and Texas A&M, and then suffering the worst late November loss to Army since Allied forces crossed the Siegfried Line.

3. US(notC)F (1-11)

Wins: +1
Losses: -11
Longest losing streak: -10 (current -10)
336 points for, 494 points against: -158
Turnover margin: -4
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: -50
Total: -242
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -20.17

The Bulls ended the season riding college football’s second-longest active losing streak, a run that included L’s suffered at the hands of a TU and UT, fellow Bottom 10 resident Temple and reigning Myrtle Beach Bowl champs Tulsa, which just fired its head coach.

4. North by Northworstern (1-11)

Wins: +1
Losses: -11
Longest losing streak: -11 (current -10)
165 points for, 340 points against: -175
Turnover margin: -19 (worst in FBS)
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: N/A
Total: -225
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -18.75

In case you were wondering who in the world could have lost more consecutive times than USF’s 10 in a row, allow us to show you around lovely Evanston, Illinois.

5. Give me Liberty or give me death …

at the hands of the Other Aggies! The Flames land in the Coveted Fifth Spot after flaming out at the end of an otherwise heavenly 8-4 season with a stunning 49-14 loss to natural geographic rival New Mexico State, a game that the other FPI said that Liberty had a 95.7% chance of winning. I imagine it was hard for Hugh Freeze to keep both eyes on the playbook while he was also on the sideline scrolling through WarDamnEagleHousesForSale.com.

6. Huh-why-yuh (3-10)

Wins: +3
Losses: -10
Longest losing streak: -4
257 points for, 451 points against: -194
Turnover margin: -8
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: N/A
Total: -213
Games played: 13
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -16.38

Akron may have played too few games, but the Warriors have played too many as they have the only Bottom 10 FPI that was divisible by an unlucky 13. In fairness, Timmy Chang’s team improved dramatically as a season that started with it ranked first/worst early and often continued to plow ahead. In fact, Mauna Loa was so irritated over the season ending that it erupted for the first time in nearly 40 years.

7. Charlotte 3-and-9ers (3-9)

Wins: +3
Losses: -9
Longest losing streak: -4
294 points for, 473 points against: -180
Turnover margin: -8
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: -50
Total: -248
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -20.67

Speaking of eruptions, I am already bracing myself for my next visit to my local supermarket here in my home of Charlotte, where the kid who rings me up always has me on blast whenever I have his Niners in these rankings. I already know what he’s going to say first. “But we ended the season with a win over Louisiana Tech and they are also 3-9, so why aren’t they in the Bottom 10 instead of us?!” I will inform him that when we ran the 3-and-9ers vs. Lose-ee-anna Tech in the computer, it wasn’t even close. Charlotte, thanks to a much larger points for/against margin, turnover margin and fired coach bonus, nearly doubled Louisiana Tech’s FPI of minus-10.67. I also already know what he’ll say next. “Dude, what is with your groceries? You eat like an 8-year-old.”

8. Akronmonious (2-9)

Wins: +2
Losses: -9
Longest losing streak: -9
239 points for, 379 points against: -140
Turnover margin: -11
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: N/A
Total: -167
Games played: 11
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -15.18

In case you were wondering, yes, the Zips just won their second game of the year and did so against another fellow #MACtion Bottom 10 contender in Northern Ill-ugh-noise. But as you know from watching the CFP rankings announcement shows each week, this is all about “body of work” and Akron’s anatomy is Thor in “Avengers: Endgame.” NIU’s Bottom 10 FPI is minus-6.08, barely more than a third of the Zips, who are 15.18 below zip. Speaking of in case you were wondering and speaking of numbers that start with 15, Akron has a 15.4% chance of winning its do-over at Buffalo on Friday night. But that’s according to the ESPN FPI, and now that we have seen how easy it is to come up with an FPI formula, we’re not sure we trust it anymore.

9. Whew Mexico No-bos (2-10)

Wins: +2
Losses: -10
Longest losing streak: -9 (current -10)
157 points for, 312 points against: -155
Turnover margin: +4
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: N/A
Total: -178
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -14.83

The No-bos ended the year by providing former top/bottom team Colora-duh State with the win they needed to boost themselves over the wall and out of the Bottom 10 prison yard. So why aren’t they ranked higher/lower than they are? Look at that turnover margin. Whew Mexico ranks 38th in all of FBS, tied with the likes of Cincinnati and Washington State. Come on, guys, are you trying to win this thing, or aren’t you?

10. No-vada (2-10)

Wins: +2
Losses: -10
Longest losing streak: -10 (current -10)
226 points for, 371 points against: -145
Turnover margin: +2
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: N/A
Total: -171
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -14.25

The race to secure this final spot was tighter than a pair of Underoos washed in too-hot water, but the Oof Pack edged out the rest of the, er, pack via the nation’s other second-longest losing streak. The difference between Whew Mexico and its Mountain West mates in Reno is thinner than the gravy on the $3 meatloaf in downtown Reno. They shared seven common opponents and while New Mexico lost to all seven, Nevada did beat Liberty destroyers Whew Mexico State back in Week 1. The Pack ended the season with a loss to unLv, who reacted by … immediately firing its coach?

Waiting list: Temple of Doom, Arkansaw State, Colora-duh State, Lose-ee-anna Tech, Old Duh-minions, Northern Ill-ugh-noise, Stampford, Virginia Tech No-kies, In A Rut-gers, #goBCc, Arizona Skate, the end of the regular season … boo.

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Buckeyes great Laurinaitis joins Ohio State staff

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Buckeyes great Laurinaitis joins Ohio State staff

Ohio State is adding James Laurinaitis, one of the most decorated defensive players in program history, to its coaching staff as a defensive graduate assistant for the 2023 college football season.

Laurinaitis, a former Buckeyes linebacker, is one of only eight players in team history to earn All-America honors three times. A two-time captain, he won the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation’s top defensive player and the Butkus Award as the top linebacker in college football. Laurinaitis spent the 2022 season as a graduate assistant at Notre Dame, working under his former Ohio State teammate Marcus Freeman.

The 36-year-old will work primarily with Ohio State’s linebackers. He twice earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors and was a second-round pick in the 2009 NFL draft. Laurinaitis became the then-St. Louis Rams’ all-time leading tackler with 852 stops in seven years. He retired from the NFL after the 2016 season with New Orleans.

“I am thrilled for our program and especially for our current and future Buckeyes who will benefit so much from having James on staff,” coach Ryan Day said in a statement. “James is a terrific young man with wisdom as a Buckeye and experience as an eight-year NFL veteran. He is going to be a very important part of our program going forward.”

Laurinaitis played at Ohio State alongside Brian Hartline, whom Day recently promoted to offensive coordinator

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Spartans making deals in fracas vs. Wolverines

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Spartans making deals in fracas vs. Wolverines

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — At least four more Michigan State football players facing misdemeanor charges for a skirmish inside the Michigan Stadium tunnel will likely have their cases dismissed in exchange for community service and other conditions, lawyers said Friday.

“It’s going to happen outside of court,” said Max Manoogian, an attorney for Angelo Grose. “There is going to be no criminal responsibility whatsoever. There are no admissions being made, no pleas being tendered.”

Scuffles broke out in the tunnel after Michigan defeated Michigan State 29-7 on Oct. 29. Video showed Michigan State players pushing, punching and kicking Michigan’s Ja’Den McBurrows.

Seven players were charged, though only one, Khary Crump, faced a felony. That charge was dropped in early January in exchange for a guilty plea to a misdemeanor. His record will be scrubbed clean if he stays out of trouble while on probation.

Grose, Itayvion Brown, Brandon Wright and Justin White returned to court Friday and agreed to sign up for a special program, MLive.com reported.

“Participants work with a case manager to create and successfully complete a plan for accountability. Upon completion of that plan, charges are dismissed,” said Victoria Burton-Harris, chief assistant prosecutor in Washtenaw County.

Manoogian predicted charges would be dismissed in six months.

“They’re going to do some good work in the community, do a little bit of philanthropic work, jump through a couple of hoops and the prosecutor’s going to dismiss the case on their own,” he said.

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NHL Power Rankings: Projecting playoff chances for all 32 teams

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NHL Power Rankings: Projecting playoff chances for all 32 teams

The 2023 NHL All-Star Game is on tap next weekend, and once the break is over, the volume of trades should really start heating up as teams fall into the “playoff contender” and “there’s always next year” cohorts.

As of this point, there are no teams that have clinched a playoff spot, and no team is mathematically eliminated either. So let’s take a look at each team’s current playoff chances (per FiveThirtyEight), and identify what could go right or wrong to reverse that trend.

How we rank: A panel of ESPN hockey commentators, analysts, reporters and editors rates teams against one another — taking into account game results, injuries and upcoming schedule — and those results are tabulated to produce the list featured here.

Note: Previous ranking for each team refers to the most recent edition, published Jan. 20. Points percentages are through Thursday’s games.

Previous ranking: 1
Points percentage: 83.33%
Next seven days: @ FLA (Jan. 28), @ CAR (Jan. 29), @ TOR (Feb. 1)

Playoff chances: >99%. Boston should be offended their odds aren’t an even 100%. The Bruins are a postseason lock, and then some.

Previous ranking: 2
Points percentage: 72.34%
Next seven days: vs. SJ (Jan. 27), vs. BOS (Jan. 29), vs. LA (Jan. 31), @ BUF (Feb. 1)

Playoff chances: >99%. Carolina would have to face the mother of all rough patches to not make a fifth consecutive postseason appearance. And that’s saying a lot, considering the Hurricanes have weathered their share of adversity and keep coming out on top.

Previous ranking: 4
Points percentage: 68.75%
Next seven days: @ DAL (Jan. 27)

Playoff chances: 95%. New Jersey is tracking toward just its second playoff appearance in 10 years. An imminent fall off the rails is wildly unlikely, and the Devils project to be one of the must-watch clubs in what will be a talent-packed Eastern Conference field.

Previous ranking: 5
Points percentage: 69.39%
Next seven days: vs. OTT (Jan. 27), vs. WSH (Jan. 29), vs. BOS (Feb. 1)

Playoff chances: >99%. Toronto reaching 18-wheeler-off-a-cliff territory is all that could negate earning a playoff spot. How far the Leafs end up going in the postseason is a whole other calculation, of course.

Previous ranking: 3
Points percentage: 67.02%
Next seven days: vs. LA (Jan. 28)

Playoff chances: >99%. Tampa Bay is a sure thing — at least to reach another postseason. The Lightning’s biggest potential for derailment (aside from compounding injuries) might be fatigue. Headlining the Stanley Cup Final three seasons in a row takes its toll. Is there load management in the future to safeguard against disappointment? Stay tuned.

Previous ranking: 7
Points percentage: 65.00%
Next seven days: vs. NJ (Jan. 27)

Playoff chances: 97%. Dallas has lost consecutive games in regulation only once since November, and just four times total this season. The Stars will carry that promise into a surefire postseason opportunity.

Previous ranking: 6
Points percentage: 63.00%
Next seven days: vs. PHI (Jan. 28), vs. STL (Jan. 30)

Playoff chances: 93%. Winnipeg should have no trouble staying on course to a well-deserved postseason slot. The Jets’ only potential stumbling block could be figuring out how to maximize the luxury of an (almost) healthy roster, without disrupting chemistry that’s taken them so far already.

Previous ranking: 9
Points percentage: 64.89%
Next seven days: vs. CGY (Jan. 27), vs. CBJ (Jan. 28)

Playoff chances: 93%. Seattle needs its goaltending to hold up. That’s it. Because there’s little else that could hold this high-powered Kraken crew back from their inaugural playoff showing.

Previous ranking: 10
Points percentage: 62.50%
Next seven days: vs. VGK (Jan. 27)

Playoff chances: 89%. New York is on thin ice in the ultracompetitive Metropolitan Division. Teams are breathing down their neck already, and to hold tight in the top three, GM Chris Drury can’t be shy about adding a player (or two) ahead of the trade deadline. That insurance would help prevent New York from slipping into wild-card territory.

Previous ranking: 8
Points percentage: 62.25%
Next seven days: @ NYR (Jan. 27), @ NYI (Jan. 28)

Playoff chances: 82%. Vegas needs its health. Injury troubles have pushed the Golden Knights off track before, and they’ve been an issue already throughout this season. Vegas squirrelling away wins early should protect their postseason potential, though — barring a further pileup of ailments to come.

Previous ranking: 14
Points percentage: 58.51%
Next seven days: vs. STL (Jan. 28)

Playoff chances: 93%. Colorado just recorded its longest win streak of the season — at six games — and looks increasingly like the reigning Stanley Cup champion we expected. And when the Avalanche are hitting their stride, there’s little doubt playoffs lay ahead.

Previous ranking: 12
Points percentage: 60.00%
Next seven days: @ FLA (Jan. 27), @ TB (Jan. 28), @ CAR (Jan. 31)

Playoff chances: 63%. Los Angeles can pump up their playoff outlook as buyers before trade deadline. The salary cap won’t make it easy, but the Kings’ adding another left-shot defenseman, bottom-six forward or even a depth goaltender would aid in holding off Edmonton or Calgary for the Pacific Division’s third seed.

Previous ranking: 11
Points percentage: 59.57%
Next seven days: vs. BUF (Jan. 28)

Playoff chances: 81%. Minnesota must fear a surging Avalanche (and really, who doesn’t?) The Central was suffocating enough, and now that Colorado is climbing, the Wild have to keep pace or risk duking it out for a wild-card berth into the postseason.

Previous ranking: 13
Points percentage: 59.18%
Next seven days: vs. CHI (Jan. 28)

Playoff chances: 86%. Edmonton has racked up wins lately thanks to overall improved play, from forward balance to strong special teams to dialed-in defense. The Oilers can’t rest on their laurels or revert back to bad habits like leaning too heavily on its stars. Edmonton’s postseason hopes — and success — depend on being more multi-dimensional than that.

Previous ranking: 16
Points percentage: 59.38%
Next seven days: vs. SJ (Jan. 28)

Playoff chances: 75%. Pittsburgh looked poised, at one point, to be a powerhouse. Currently, they barely hold a playoff spot. The Penguins can improve their odds by adding forward depth ahead of the deadline, and hoping certain defensive stalwarts — including Kris Letang and Brian Dumoulin — can keep flourishing.

Previous ranking: 18
Points percentage: 56.12%
Next seven days: @ SEA (Jan. 27)

Playoff chances: 56%. Calgary must find its identity. It’s not all the way locked in yet. To make the postseason, Calgary has to execute like a playoff-caliber team. But putting on a full 60-minute effort might be the easy part. The Flames’ challenge is to keep coming together, decide what they really are and lean into it.

Previous ranking: 15
Points percentage: 56.86%
Next seven days: @ TOR (Jan. 29), @ CBJ (Jan. 31)

Playoff chances: 59%. Washington is in that middle-of-the-pack position that makes a pre-trade-deadline move imperative. The Capitals need to target blue-line help. John Carlson is hurt now, and if there’s an opportunity to bolster the back end sooner than later, Washington could boost its postseason positioning that much faster.

Previous ranking: 20
Points percentage: 57.29%
Next seven days: @ MIN (Jan. 28), vs. CAR (Feb. 1)

Playoff chances: 35%. Buffalo is at a crossroads: Are they a young team standing pat until next season, or is a playoff push now in their sights? Because the opportunity to swing big is there. The Sabres’ best chance of a springtime berth involves adding defensive depth, possibly targeting an impactful bottom-six forward, continued excellence from its top-six group and consistent goaltending. Buffalo has surprised all season; what else is up its sleeve?

Previous ranking: 17
Points percentage: 56.25%
Next seven days: No games

Playoff chances: 43%. Nashville longs for consistency. Juuse Saros is playing well in net (.920 save percentage) and the Predators have improved offensively since Christmas into a top-15 goal-scoring team. To extend its second-half potential into a postseason shot, Nashville has to get consistent scoring every game.

Previous ranking: 22
Points percentage: 52.00%
Next seven days: vs. LA (Jan. 27), vs. BOS (Jan. 28)

Playoff chances: 30%. Florida needed better goaltending to turn its season around. Now, the Panthers just need healthy goaltenders. Sergei Bobrovsky was sidelined last week with a lower-body issue and Spencer Knight is just back from injury himself. Alex Lyon has been there to help, but Florida has simply got to give its goalie — whoever that is — all the support it can up front to have a shot at playoffs.

Previous ranking: 23
Points percentage: 53.19%
Next seven days: @ NYI (Jan. 27)

Playoff chances: 4%. Detroit showed some serious early-season promise, and they’re still an above-.500 team. If the Red Wings can start scoring again, and if Ville Husso can get some help, and if Detroit can tighten up defensively … maybe they find a way back to what worked before. If not, the Red Wings could be looking for a golden draft lottery ticket.

Previous ranking: 19
Points percentage: 51.00%
Next seven days: vs. DET (Jan. 27), vs. VGK (Jan. 28)

Playoff chances: 13%. New York has been in an offensive drought since mid-December. If that doesn’t change fast, and the Islanders still hold postseason aspirations, then GM Lou Lamoriello must target forward help on the trade market. And then hope that kick-starts better performances from within.

Previous ranking: 21
Points percentage: 50.00%
Next seven days: @ COL (Jan. 28), @ WPG (Jan. 30)

Playoff chances: 12%. St. Louis’ best chance of a postseason push is keeping all of its best players — including an eventually healthy Vladimir Tarasenko and Ryan O’Reilly — in the fold. And potentially being buyers instead of sellers ahead of the trade deadline. And then going on a magical win-almost-every-night kind of run. So yeah, it would be a lot.

Previous ranking: 24
Points percentage: 49.00%
Next seven days: @ WPG (Jan. 28)

Playoff chances: 1%. Philadelphia not being the worst team in their division is a (relative) achievement. There’s always next year to — maybe — get back in the playoff mix.

Previous ranking: 25
Points percentage: 47.87%
Next seven days: @ TOR (Jan. 27), vs. MTL (Jan. 28), @ MTL (Jan. 31)

Playoff chances: 1%. Ottawa rallied to overcome a slow start with its 12-5-2 run through late fall. Since then, the Senators have simply fallen. Would getting — and staying — fully healthy have kept Ottawa’s previous momentum and playoff hopes alive? A question that will linger into the planning for next season.

Previous ranking: 28
Points percentage: 38.78%
Next seven days: @ CAR (Jan. 27), @ PIT (Jan. 28)

Playoff chances: less than 1%. San Jose won’t be appearing in the postseason. But the Sharks could emerge as big winners at the trade deadline by moving marquee players like Timo Meier and Erik Karlsson in deals that set San Jose up for long-term success in the future. A fine consolation prize.

Previous ranking: 27
Points percentage: 44.90%
Next seven days: @ OTT (Jan. 28), vs. OTT (Jan. 31)

Playoff chances: less than 1%. Montreal losing Cole Caufield for the rest of the season was the end of any lingering postseason dreams. No matter. The Canadiens have a young core and plenty of potential playoff opportunities in their future.

Previous ranking: 26
Points percentage: 42.71%
Next seven days: vs. CBJ (Jan. 27)

Playoff chances: less than 1%. Vancouver responded surprisingly well to a coaching change last season. Can they do it again? Last season, the Canucks went from last in the Pacific to missing the playoffs by two points after Bruce Boudreau slid behind the bench. Rick Tocchet would be some sort of magician to coax an even better run out of Vancouver now … but hey, anything is possible.

Previous ranking: 29
Points percentage: 37.76%
Next seven days: @ ANA (Jan. 28)

Playoff chances: less than 1%. Arizona won’t parlay great performances from the likes of Karel Vejmelka and Clayton Keller into playoff games right now. But there are still a couple more years of possibility that Mullet Arena will host an NHL playoff tilt. And that’s fun to think about!

Previous ranking: 30
Points percentage: 36.17%
Next seven days: @ EDM (Jan. 28)

Playoff chances: less than 1%. Chicago is “Bound for Bedard” — as was their plan. The Blackhawks can help the cause by finding trade partners for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, and really embracing the franchise’s future direction.

Previous ranking: 32
Points percentage: 35.71%
Next seven days: vs. ARI (Jan. 28)

Playoff chances: less than 1%. Anaheim can see the big picture here. Playoffs are out, clearly. But the Ducks have cap space to spare, a trade deadline looming to start the healing — er, improving — process and great odds in the Connor Bedard sweepstakes. And those are the odds that really matter for Anaheim.

Previous ranking: 31
Points percentage: 34.38%
Next seven days: @ VAN (Jan. 27), @ SEA (Jan. 28), vs. WSH (Jan. 31)

Playoff chances: less than 1%. Columbus has yet to win consecutive games in regulation this season, so the playoffs will remain something of a pipe dream.

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