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2016 NHL DRAFT LOTTERY Open Thread (oh, and some playoff games, too)

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The wait is over. Tonight in Toronto the NHL will draw for the order of this year's Entry Draft, and for the first time in this history of the Draft Lottery, the Canucks have a chance to pick 1st overall.

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Auston Matthews. Patrik Laine. Jesse Puljujarvi. These names are on the lips of many today, and have been for quite a while now. The 2016 NHL Draft Lottery goes in a few hours, and the Canucks have a chance to secure the 1st overall pick if they should be lucky enough to have their ball drawn. Only Toronto and Edmonton have a better chance, but any of these top 3 players would be a massive addition to a team like the Canucks in the midst of a rebuild. You want hope for the future? Any one of these 3 lads will give you that.

Of course, this is the Vancouver Canucks we're talking about, a team that could be known as one of the most cursed franchises after St Louis wins the Cup this year and the Chicago Cubs win the World Series. This franchise was born losing a wheel spin for the first overall draft. I can't shake the feeling that this is going to end well for the Canucks, in spite of knowing better. And yes, I am aware of just how weird that sounds. We've become accustomed to never getting what we want here. They say every dog has his day, and maybe, just maybe this is one for the Canucks that will finally let us look forward instead of back.

There's also some actual games being played, so let's look at those, I guess...

LAST NIGHT'S GAMES:

- Brian Elliott stood on his head but it wasn't enough, as the Dallas Stars got goals from Antoine Roussel and Radek Faksa in a 2-1 win to take a 1-0 series lead over the St Louis Blues. Elliott stopped 40 of 42 Dallas shots, but didn't give him any offensive support apart from a Kevin Shattenkirk goal. Kari Lehtonen was no slouch for the Stars though, stopping 31 of 32 Blues shots.

- Logan Couture scored twice, and the Sharks got goals from Tomas Hertl, a beauty from Joel Ward and an empty netter from Tommy Wingels as they opened their series against Nashville with a 5-2 win last night in San Jose. Mike Fisher and Ryan Johansen scored for Nashville.

TODAY'S GAMES:

- Game 2 of the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning is on right now. The Isles took a 1-0 series lead Wednesday, and are looking for their first 2-0 series lead since the 1983 Finals. Tampa will need to try and shut down the line of Ryan Strome, Shane Prince and Brock Nelson, who notched 6 points in Game 1.

- The Washington Capitals will be looking to send the series over to Pittsburgh with a 2-0 lead if they can win tonight. TJ Oshie's hat trick, including the OT winner was the difference for the Caps in that one, but it would be a mistake to count the Penguins out of this one already. The Caps should have Karl Alzner back in the lineup tonight, and the Penguins could get Chris Kunitz back on their side.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Today we'll either drink to celebrate a bright future or to dull the pain of more of the same. So here's Finnish beer-soaked legends Korpiklaani's 'Man With A Plan'.