The Weekly Macklin Celebrini Watch: Chicago Blackhawks Lead for Best NHL Draft Lottery Odds Are In Peril

The San Jose Sharks are one point behind.
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The Chicago Blackhawks just barely still sit at the top of the standings.

The Hawks are just a point ahead of the San Jose Sharks for the top spot in the NHL Draft Lottery. The Sharks lost both of their games last week while the Hawks picked up a point in the standings despite losing all three of their contests.

Forcing overtime against Winnipeg pushed the Hawks' point total to 34 while the Sharks remained at 35 points.

What does the schedule look like for the Blackhawks and Sharks this week?

The Blackhawks host the Detroit Red Wings tonight at the United Center. It is going to be an emotional night as the team retires Chris Chelios' No. 7 and Patrick Kane makes his return to the United Center with the Red Wings. It is Kaner's first time back on the United Center ice since the Blackhawks traded him to the New York Rangers before last year's trade deadline.

This might be a game the Hawks end up winning with all the pageantry going on and the Red Wings are on the backend of a back-to-back. Then again, the Red Wings are coming in hot with a four-game winning streak and are 7-2-1 over their past 10 games. They throttled St. Louis yesterday 6-1.

The Hawks host Colorado on Thursday and then host Columbus on Saturday. The Avalanche are struggling right now as they are 3-5-2 over their past 10 games. The Blackhawks looked great against Colorado in an early December home victory. The Blue Jackets are currently fourth in the Tankathon standings and then tend to take games into overtime on account of their 10 overtime losses this year.

The Sharks host the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday and then welcome in the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday. They wrap the week in Dallas on Saturday. The Sharks have lost three straight.

The Devils are playing for their playoff lives as they are currently on the fringes of getting a wild card spot. The Ducks are right behind the Sharks in the Tankathon standings while Dallas and Winnipeg keep battling it out for the top spot in the Central Division.

The Sharks' best chance to stay ahead of the Hawks is with a win over the Ducks. The Hawks on the other hand have three games they could conceivably win at least when it comes to the context surrounding the games. On paper, the Hawks should lose all three games, but as explained above, some factors can help the Blackhawks pick up a few wins.

Remember, the Hawks did not have the best lottery odds last year and still ended up with the No. 1 overall pick. Still, if you hope for history to repeat itself, having the most ping-pong balls would be nice.