Dan barnes_ the nhl draft lottery is for the luckiest losers _ edmonton journal

It’s more than a little embarrassing to admit, but years ago I was convinced that given enough ciphering and a relatively modest investment, the odds of a six-number lottery could be tilted in my favour.

Now, is that as embarrassing as repeatedly finishing 28th, 29th or 30th and winning the NHL draft lottery in three of the last six years? Perhaps. My family mocks me for all those hours spent at the kitchen table, and rightly so. The Oilers too are properly derided for their perennial failure and the annual reward it brings.

After thorough scouting and careful research, they still picked Nail Yakupov first overall in 2012, apparently at the behest of their higher-ups. Oven baked chicken fingers After serious parsing of previous winning six-number combinations, I generally wasted the cost of my ticket and my time.

Baked chicken tenders in oven Sometimes, you get what you deserve.

But the Oilers have even managed to win when they lost the draw, retaining the first overall pick in 2011 when New Jersey’s number came up, but not quite far enough, as the lottery rules of the moment limited their advancement from eighth to fourth.

The Oilers chose Ryan Nugent-Hopkins first overall that year, Taylor Hall in 2010 and Connor McDavid last June, and a betting man would have at least two of them hanging around here long enough to participate in a playoff series. Chicken fingers baked And yes, given all their kicks at the No. Recipe for chicken fingers 1 can, they should already be playoff participants and draft lottery observers.

Instead, on Saturday night the patience of most Canadian hockey fans and the luck of the Oilers will again be tested in prime time. Chicken fingers recipe baked Some Edmontonians are embracing the televised spectacle. Healthy chicken fingers There are draft lottery parties being thrown. Best chicken fingers All day long the city will be a veritable hodge-podge of beer, chicken wings, crossed fingers, four-leaf clovers and three-legged rabbits.

And at about 5 p.m., an NHL official will hold up the logo of not one but three lottery-winning squads, starting with the team that will earn the right, ahem, to be handed the first overall pick. Chicken tenders recipe easy Yes, the convoluted draft lottery is now three convoluted draft lotteries. Breaded chicken fingers A rotating drum loaded with numbers one through 14 — there are 14 non-playoff teams — will spin and the drama will begin building. Chicken tenders recipe fried The machine will spit out a number. Buttermilk chicken fingers Ten seconds later, another one. Deep fried chicken fingers And another. Baked chicken tenders recipe no breading And finally a fourth.

And despite the total inanity and complete lack of star power, the draft lottery show at Sportsnet HQ in Toronto could get better ratings than any of their games in the first round of the playoffs. Homemade chicken strips recipe Ack.

Once complete, that first four-number series will correspond with a combination assigned to the luckiest loser of them all. The Toronto Maple Leafs, by virtue of tanking more thoroughly and efficiently than any other of this year’s NHL also-rans, have been assigned the most four-number combinations at 200. Easy chicken fingers recipe They should win, probability-wise.

The Leafs have a 20 per cent chance of winning the first draw, the Oilers clock in at 13.5 per cent. Oven fried chicken fingers The Leafs haven’t won anything since 1967. Homemade chicken fingers recipe They have picked first overall just once, 1985, when they took Wendel Clark. Chicken strips recipe easy They’re due.

So the Oilers could wind up with the first, second, third, fourth or fifth pick. Chicken tenders recipe healthy In human terms, that’s likely American centre Auston Matthews, Finnish wingers Patrik Laine and then Jesse Puljujarvi, and then a variety of candidates for Nos. Chicken tenders recipe ideas 4 and 5.

However, TSN’s Bob McKenzie wrote Wednesday that a couple of NHL teams now have Laine ranked ahead of Matthews. Chicken tenders recipe oven Laine scored 10 goals and added five assists and MVP honours in the playoffs to lead Tappara to the Finnish Liiga championship, while Matthews has been idle since his Swiss team finished up in early March. Baked chicken fingers panko Both are expected to play at the World Hockey Championships in Russia and their performances at that tournament should solidify their draft order.

If Matthews remains the consensus No. Crispy chicken fingers recipe 1 and the Oilers do what they’re best at and win another lottery, it will present more opportunities for GM Peter Chiarelli to get a jump on his Summer of Change. Easy chicken fingers Trade the pick for an established defenceman? Sure. How to cook chicken fingers Draft Matthews and trade another Oiler centre? Why not?

But let’s say the No. How to make homemade chicken fingers 2 team, let’s call them the Leafs, really wants Matthews and the Oilers are one of the teams that have jumped on the Laine bandwagon. Deep fried chicken tenders recipe The Oilers could exact a price from Toronto to trade down a spot and pick the pure finisher they so obviously need for McDavid, and trade Jordan Eberle. Chicken strips recipe ideas Makes better sense, right?

Sure, until you consider that drafting 18-year-old hockey players is a crapshoot, a total gamble, an uncertain affair with an unpredictable outcome.