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With the Avs firmly entrenched at the bottom of the standings, and fans "Tanking it for teh Tavares", I thought it might be a good time to look at some of the teams "competing" with the Avs for the best odds at the Tavares sweepstakes. For the record my position hasn't changed, I don't root for the Avs to lose. It's bad Mojo and even worse it creates a culture of losing and allows players to get sloppy and complacent. I still want them to win and play well. I am just cheering for the teams at the bottom of the standings to win as well.

The New York Islanders:

The Isles have been sitting comfortably in last place since about game one of the season. Everyone has penciled them in for the #1 spot in the draft lottery, with Long Island the likely home of John Tavares (well unless they move to Kansas City. No word on whether Tavares prefers Barbeque over Fish Sticks). after losing Rick DiPietro for the season the Isles have gone with a goalie rotation of Joey MacDonald, Peter Mannino, and Yann Danis, none of whom envoke, well anything really. The Islanders lived up to their lack of potential with a 2-10-2 record in December. They followed that up by being the last team in 2009 to earn a point, when they lost on January 19th in overtime to the Capitals.

If theirs any team that desperately needs an influx of talent... it's the New York Islanders. Despite the last 4 years of little to no success (1 playoff appearance, as an 8-seed since the lockout) the Isles are ranked a preposterous 25th in hockey futures organizational talent rankings. And here's their "premier" line for games these days:

Dean McAmmond - Mike Iggulden - Kyle Okposo

Ouch!. Only Okposo has the talent for being a true 1st liner, and he's still a bit young for that responsibility. Check out the entire depth chart. That's a roster that deserves a #1 draft pick.

Yet the Isles have put a bit of a run together. They are only seven points behind the Avs and have been better than decent in their last 10, going 6-2-2. It's still unlikely that they will catch the Avs, but the Avs have slumped in the second half of the season and the Isles have somehow been getting points.

Analysis: After thinking about it, I do not want the Avs to "catch" the Isles. Looking at their roster, and the injury troubles they have had this season, it would be beyond humiliating for the Avs to finish with less points in the standings than the Isles. The Avs have 2 300-goal scorers, and a $19M defense. Having a bad season is ok. Being a punchline is not. On the plus side if the Avs did finish with less points than the Isles I don't see how they could go into another season with Tony Granato at the helm. I want the Avs to get top talent, but not at the expensive of becoming a complete laughingstock.