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The COVID-19 Cup (Poll)

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Are you in favour of the current proposed 24 team playoff format?  

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Stanley Cup playoffs 2020: Everything we know about the NHL's potential resumption

The rumour mill continues to churn, but one thing appears to be more and more definite: a 2020 Stanley Cup champion will be crowned.

 

When it'll happen is still in flux because of such things as location, coronavirus testing, the U.S.-Canada border closures, limited access from Europe and mandatory 14-day quarantines to anyone entering Canada.

 

Regardless of those variables, it sounds as if the NHL and the NHL Players' Association, through their joint Return to Play Committee, are inching closer to summer hockey. The Boston Globe's Kevin Paul Dupont wrote (subscription required) that the Bruins may be able to get back on the ice, albeit in small groups, by June 1 under Phase 2 of the league's reopening protocols, with the playoffs starting July 1.

Here's everything we know so far about the NHL's potential return to the ice:

How many teams would return?

According to a report from Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman on May 20, it looks as if the league, the players and the Return to Play Committee are zeroing in on a 24-team playoff.

The top 24 teams based on points percentage — teams had not all played the same number of games when the season was paused on March 12 — would be seeded 1-12 in each conference. Seven teams would not resume play and would then enter the draft lottery.

Eastern Conference

SEED TEAM RECORD PTS. PCT.
1 Boston Bruins 44-14-12 .714
2 Tampa Bay Lightning 43-21-6 .657
3 Washington Capitals 41-20-8 .652
4 Philadelphia Flyers 41-21-7 .645
5 Pittsburgh Penguins 40-23-6 .623
6 Carolina Hurricanes 38-25-5 .596
7 New York Islanders 35-23-10 .588
8 Toronto Maple Leafs 36-25-9 .579
9 Columbus Blue Jackets 33-33-15 .579
10 Florida Panthers 35-26-8 .565
11 New York Rangers 37-28-5 .564
12 Montreal Canadiens 31-31-9 .500

Western Conference

SEED TEAM RECORD PTS. PCT.
1 St. Louis Blues 42-19-10 .662
2 Colorado Avalanche 42-20-8 .657
3 Vegas Golden Knights 39-24-8 .606
4 Dallas Stars 37-24-8 .594
5 Edmonton Oilers 37-25-9 .585
6 Nashville Predators 35-26-8 .565
7 Vancouver Canucks 36-27-6 .565
8 Calgary Flames 36-27-7 .564
9 Winnipeg Jets 37-28-6 .563
10 Minnesota Wild 35-27-7 .558
11 Arizona Coyotes 33-29-8 .529
12 Chicago Blackhawks 32-30-8 .514

Teams that would not return

TEAM RECORD PTS. PCT.
Buffalo Sabres 30-31-8 .493
New Jersey Devils 28-29-12 .493
Anaheim Ducks 29-33-9 .472
Los Angeles Kings 29-35-6 .457
San Jose Sharks 29-36-5 .450
Ottawa Senators 25-34-12 .437
Detroit Red Wings 17-49-5 .275

How would the playoffs work?

Brackets! Who doesn't love a bracket?

In the proposed format, there would an NCAA-style bracket without any reseeding.

According to Friedman, the top four seeds in each conference would receive byes and the "play-in series" would be a best-of-five format.

Eastern Conference opening-round series

MATCHUP
(5) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (12) Montreal Canadiens
(6) Carolina Hurricanes vs. (11) New York Rangers
(7) New York Islanders vs. (10) Florida Panthers
(8) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. (9) Columbus Blue Jackets

Western Conference opening-round series

MATCHUP
(5) Edmonton Oilers vs. (12) Chicago Blackhawks
(6) Nashville Predators vs. (11) Arizona Coyotes
(7) Vancouver Canucks vs. (10) Minnesota Wild
(8) Calgary Flames vs. (9) Winnipeg Jets

Once these series are decided and the Stanley Cup playoffs are down to the traditional 16 teams, the four teams that received byes would then enter the bracket for a best-of-seven series.

 

Sportsnet's Chris Johnston reported Thursday that the four top teams could play in a mini-round-robin tournament of their own to determine final seeding.

 

If the seeding remains the same for those four teams, then this is how the Round of 16 would shake out — and, yes, that could mean a Maple Leafs-Bruins "first-round matchup."

Eastern Conference second-round series

MATCHUP
(1) Boston Bruins vs. winner of Maple Leafs-Blue Jackets
(2) Tampa Bay Lightning vs. winner of Islanders-Panthers
(3) Washington Capitals vs. winner of Hurricanes-Rangers
(4) Philadelphia Flyers vs. winner of Penguins-Canadiens

Western Conference second-round series

MATCHUP
(1) St. Louis Blues vs. winner of Flames-Jets
(2) Colorado Avalanche vs. winner of Canucks-Wild
(3) Vegas Golden Knights vs. winner of Predators-Coyotes
(4) Dallas Stars vs. winner of Oilers-Blackhawks

https://www.sportingnews.com/us/nhl/news/nhl-2020-stanley-cup-playoffs-everything-we-know-about-resumption/36kbfimlv0nr13v1o1kusxhr2

 

With the PA approving a 24 team playoff format, I thought it would interesting to see public sentiment on CDC.

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No less legitimate than 1995 (shortened season), 1999 (GWG should not have counted), 2011 (rigged final), or 2013 (shortened season).

  • Hydration 2

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Fully legitimate IMO. If we're gonna nitpick, I'd say both 2013 and 1995 would be less legitimate than this. I don't want a permanent 24-team playoff, but for this year I think it's a great solution.

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It is what it is. While unusual, a competition is a competition and the winner will be the legit winner.

 

I just hope nobody contracts the virus while the playoffs are going on or it's gonna cause some real disruption.

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42 minutes ago, King Heffy said:

No less legitimate than 1995 (shortened season), 1999 (GWG should not have counted), 2011 (rigged final), or 2013 (shortened season).

bingo. If Chicago can win "legitimately" on a 48 game season, a 69+5+full playoff round must be as well. 

 

People hung up on a false idea of tradition seem to have a problem with it, but they haven't looked that hard at NHL history imo. 

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back when the league was only 21 teams, 16 teams made the playoffs. 

 

24/31

16/21

 

Almost identical ratios

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5 minutes ago, Jimmy McGill said:

bingo. If Chicago can win "legitimately" on a 48 game season, a 69+5+full playoff round must be as well. 

 

People hung up on a false idea of tradition seem to have a problem with it, but they haven't looked that hard at NHL history imo. 

Todd Bertuzzi had a huge issue with it on the SN650 morning show. 

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It's legitimate, and I'll for sure watch.

 

Now sure, there'd be outrage if Montreal or Chicago (the 12th seeds) ended up winning, so we'll just have to hope that doesn't happen.

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24 minutes ago, Master Mind said:

It's legitimate, and I'll for sure watch.

 

Now sure, there'd be outrage if Montreal or Chicago (the 12th seeds) ended up winning, so we'll just have to hope that doesn't happen.

In theory, if they don't deserve to be there, they shouldn't be good enough to win anyway.

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2 minutes ago, -AJ- said:

In theory, if they don't deserve to be there, they shouldn't be good enough to win anyway.

Right, I don't suspect they'll win. But you can imagine CDC having a meltdown if Chicago does end up winning :lol:

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If a Canadian team wins the cup, we will have some people complaining that this season doesn’t count.

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It's too bad we don't have home ice advantage if we are a hub city (though no one really would for that matter if it's empty rinks).

Also think that, unless a team like Washington can't get most of their guys back (e.g. if a team's Euros were all still stuck in their home countries with quarantine when the league decides to start the tourney) and they lost with whoever they had, then I'd put a big asterisk besides whoever was the winner.  Other than that it should be legit.  

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13 hours ago, Where's Wellwood said:

Todd Bertuzzi had a huge issue with it on the SN650 morning show. 

whats his specific beef? 

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Curious why anyone thinks the season should just be cancelled.

 

If they can safely resume, why not do it?

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10 minutes ago, Master Mind said:

Curious why anyone thinks the season should just be cancelled.

 

If they can safely resume, why not do it?

Because the layoff has been long enough to be a major disruption. Teams especially those with veterans will potentially have a tougher time getting right back into the swing of things. The NHL will have a mini training camp of sorts and then start the 1st round, where the teams in lower seeds will play each other. Teams that survive those rounds will then have an advantage on the higher seeds who haven't even played a game of competitive meaningful hockey. I can see some major upsets coming and that will just further delegitimize the competition. The NHL needs to salvage some revenue out of this season, cancelling will likely cause a major impact on the league's bottom line which is probably one of the only reasons I think this should go ahead. 

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1 minute ago, Toews said:

Because the layoff has been long enough to be a major disruption. Teams especially those with veterans will potentially have a tougher time getting right back into the swing of things. The NHL will have a mini training camp of sorts and then start the 1st round, where the teams in lower seeds will play each other. Teams that survive those rounds will then have an advantage on the higher seeds who haven't even played a game of competitive meaningful hockey. I can see some major upsets coming and that will just further delegitimize the competition. The NHL needs to salvage some revenue out of this season, cancelling will likely cause a major impact on the league's bottom line which is probably one of the only reasons I think this should go ahead. 

I get that, but the teams with byes will be playing a round robin against each other so that they aren't going in cold. While the argument can be made they won't be playing as meaningful games, that wouldn't be much different than teams playing out the last few regular season games after they've clinched 1st in their division and rest players.

 

Yes the NHL will need to recoup some lost revenue, so that's a big incentive. Plus opening back up will get more people back to work, which I think is another key factor that often gets overlooked.

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18 minutes ago, Toews said:

Because the layoff has been long enough to be a major disruption. Teams especially those with veterans will potentially have a tougher time getting right back into the swing of things. The NHL will have a mini training camp of sorts and then start the 1st round, where the teams in lower seeds will play each other. Teams that survive those rounds will then have an advantage on the higher seeds who haven't even played a game of competitive meaningful hockey. I can see some major upsets coming and that will just further delegitimize the competition. The NHL needs to salvage some revenue out of this season, cancelling will likely cause a major impact on the league's bottom line which is probably one of the only reasons I think this should go ahead. 

but the higher seeded teams have more talent and they can decide to play hard and get into better game shape. I don't see how this is a guaranteed advantage. They may also get to match up with a much weaker opponent, e.g., lets say Price stands on his head for 3 games and then Montreal goes back to normal after that. 

 

We have to wait and see the quality of the games and competition before we decide on legitimacy of this cup run. 

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Posted (edited)

There isn't enough time to finish the season to work out the standings. There was about another month of hockey left.

 

The standings were very tight, especially the west wild card. The extra best of 5 is a way to work out the remaining standings.

 

I think it's a great idea to constrict play time. After that wild card round. The traditional 16 team playoff will be played, so I dont see how there will be an asterisk. 

 

As for fans not being in the building I wish they would allow some. Enforce social distancing and only allow 25% of capacity or something like that. But that's doubtful.

 

So fans or no fans, every team is in the same situation so I dont see it as that big of a deal.

Edited by 10pavelbure96

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