COY­OTES VS. STARS

APRIL 4, 2017:

The Hockey News - - Buzz -

This game, played with less than a week left in the sea­son and fea­tur­ing two teams with no play­off hopes, didn’t get much at­ten­tion at the time. It ended up be­ing a de­cent game, though, with the Coy­otes ral­ly­ing from a 2-0 deficit to force over­time, where rookie de­fense­man Julius Honka scored his first ca­reer goal to win it for Dal­las.

That ended up be­ing a tougher loss for the Coy­otes than any of us re­al­ized. If they had man­aged to win, they’d have fin­ished the sea­son with 71 points, sneak­ing past the Devils for 27th spot and win­ning the first over­all pick in the lottery. In­stead, they capped off a mis­er­able sea­son by slid­ing all the way down to sev­enth, be­hind Ve­gas.

But there’s more, be­cause this game serves up a lottery what-if twofer. Honka’s OT goal gave the Stars two points they’d end up need­ing. Give them a loss in this one, and they drop down to 25th in the stand­ings. The Red Wings would’ve wound up 24th, where they’d have been the team tak­ing home the third-over­all pick once the lottery balls stopped bounc­ing.

One game, one goal, and four teams’ lottery fates sealed. Thanks, Julius Honka.

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