from Mike Chambers of the Denver Post,
The goal for the Avalanche is to beat Detroit on Tuesday and inch closer to a Western Conference playoff berth. Losing to the Wings, though, would help the Avs’ chances of drafting top-prospect Jack Hughes with the first pick of the 2019 draft.
Downtrodden Detroit (23-33-9, 55 points) is just four points behind Ottawa (28-38-5, 51 points) with the NHL’s worst record. Since Colorado has the Senators’ first-round pick (plus their third-rounder), the Avs want the Sens to finish with the league’s fewest points and thus have the best percentage to win the draft lottery in April.
Mathematically, the Avs would like to see Detroit and other struggling teams such as Los Angeles (56 points) stay ahead of Ottawa, although Colorado could still win the draft lottery if the Sens climb out of the league cellar.
But good luck getting any Avalanche player or coach to suggest Tuesday’s game at the Pepsi Center has anything to do with the upcoming draft.