In a perfect world, the Isles would get the #1 draft pick this year. Theoretically that can still happen in one of two ways: either one, the Isles collapse/tank and finish worst in the league; or two, the Isles get lucky in the lottery. The second possibility is clearly possible...odds are good the Isles will finish inside the top 5 worst teams in the league, even if they try their hardest.
The first possibility, though it might sound appealing due to it being less reliant upon luck, is practically impossible. See, tanking requires either for players to not try their hardest or for the team to purposely play worse players than they have available. Neither is an option for the Islanders: the Isles are rife with young talent and it is best for those players' development if they get actual playing time rather than fake playing time in which they're encouraged not to try their hardest. In other words, really none of the top 3 lines can be told to "not try." and the 4th line's impact on the game is minimal. On Defense, theoretically the Isles could have Radek-Hillen-Gervais-Jurcina purposely try to fail....but some of their support is necessary to help the young forwards improve (and AndyMac-Hamonic can't purposely fail to try because of the same reason as the young forwards).
Similarly, the easiest way to tank would probably be to put Nathan Lawson in goal over Al Montoya. Of course, that would rob the Isles of seeing what they have in Montoya, which is more important for future decisions. Of course, if the Isles replace Montoya with DiPi, then....well okay that might count.
In other words, the Isles can't tank. But if you think of it the right way, any Islander result is a win for the team. If the Isles win, it's an Isle win and the young players are probably growing and developing and improving. If the Isles lose, hey, we get a better chance at a higher pick. It's a win-win situation, except when we play the Rangers, when it's win at all costs (screw the draft pick, F***-The-Goddamn-Rangers).
Pretty sure this post only addresses a few people, but I wanted to make it anyhow due to the postgame today and tuesday.