Morning Free Association: Playoffs? Maybe?

Embed from Getty Images

It’s all but a done deal that the NHL will return without finishing up the regular season. I mean, that is fine; most teams had an average of about 12 games remaining. However, the alternative might not be as palatable.

There’s a push to get back to playing, even if it means a regional arena situation in which multiple teams play all their games, that teams play in those empty arenas with no fan support, and even if it means there’s a 24 team playoff format. Yes, that is what is being proposed as being fair to all the teams on the bubble who could prove in their final games of the regular season that they are indeed worthy of a chance to play for the Stanley Cup. Because we all know that Montreal and Minnesota have definitely earned that right, right?

Originally, the NHL hoped that teams could start out convening small practice groups, working toward a training camp starting this month. As the numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths have risen in the US, the realization of this plan has proven to be difficult. Players who have traveled home are supposed to self-quarantine when they arrive back with their team, making this plan involve more time. This timetable just wouldn’t allow for more regular season without significantly cutting into the 2020-2021 regular season.

Like Oprah announcing her audience has all won a prize, the NHL may announce that 24 lucky teams (out of 31) will get to play for the Stanley Cup. (Not you, Detroit Red Wings. You can stay home. Anaheim, come on down!)

Oprah

At this point, this is who would make the playoffs from each division and their current points in the standings:

Eastern Conference:

Metropolitan Division
Washington Capitals (90)
Philadelphia Flyers (89)
Pittsburgh Penguins (86)
Carolina Hurricanes (81)
Columbus Blue Jackets (81)
New York Islanders (80)

Atlantic Division

Boston Bruins (100)
Tampa Bay Lightning (92)
Toronto Maple Leafs (81)
Florida Panthers (78)
Montreal Canadiens (71)
Buffalo Sabres (68)

Western Conference:

Central Division

St Louis Blues (94)
Colorado Avalanche (92)
Dallas Stars (82)
Winnipeg Jets (80)
Nashville Predators (78)
Minnesota Wild (77)

Pacific Division

Vegas Golden Knights (86)
Edmonton Oilers (83)
Calgary Flames (79)
Vancouver Canucks (78)
Arizona Coyotes (74)
Anaheim Ducks (67)

Yes, teams that aren’t even earning a point in the standings per game played or are barely meeting that standard are playoff eligible in this format. It could be some really ugly or beautiful hockey, who knows?

I’m not exactly sure how the tournament would shake out with regards to seeding and if any teams get byes or not. As it turns out, the NHL doesn’t have it all settled either. But one thing’s for sure: if in the first round the Sabres could take out the Lightning and / or the Islanders take out the Caps, it would be a beautiful thing.

Tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.
the german hammer

About the german hammer

Captain of Bearly on Topic.
newest oldest most recched
Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Morning all. Had a nice short little walk with a neighbor this morning. Her two dogs were very excited to see other humans.

I’m still not totally on board with this need for playoffs. I’d rather they focus on making sure they have a thorough plan for starting next season.

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

I need to get myself out for a woodland walk. That has to go ln the to do list for this week.

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

Good morning!

The most logical way of running a 24-team bracket would be to have the top two teams from each division getting a bye. Unless they were going to run a round-robin or mini league round first.

This reminds me of something i had been wondering and that you guys would probably know more about than me: is there any advantage to making the playoffs but not winning the Cup? Is there a prize money scale from the league? I assume the players have some sort of success bonus from their teams?
There must be some compensation for getting a lower draft pick, right?

So this morning Leah grabbed a cake tin that had come straight out of the oven. Kids! Luckily avoided needing a trip to the hospital but she’s going to have a few blisters. Burn treatment is one of the few things I remember my from first aid course, fortunately!

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Oh ouch! (looks at small scar on my arm from burning it on a hot pan handle. Yup, I’m still learning the “hot things are hot and can burn” lesson!)

Stripes
Guest
Stripes

I’m on board with first round bye for first place teams.
Some teams finances need a couple playoff home games to balance the books. I’m not sure about incentive bonuses individual players might have for their teams playoff success, but I believe they exist.

Ouch! Burns keep hurting for quite awhile. Hot things are really heavy!

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

Ah – I hadn’t thought about the fact they would make money from hosting the games! That would make sense.

Stripes
Guest
Stripes

Whether they make any dough with empty arenas, I don’t know. TV rights, maybe?

Stripes
Guest
Stripes

Hi Pals!!!
A Sabres – Wild SCF would be somethin’ , eh? Ah well, hockey would be nice. Can we ban travel from Russia? Just leave Ovi, Kovalchuk, and Kucherov over there, thank you. Besides, they invented Corona, right? Or was it the Mexicans? One of them.
Great weekend in the hills. We had people around a campfire Saturday night!!! Woo hoo! There was social distancing…. and my neighbor brought some Whistle Pig to prevent contamination…. So, I had some bourbon..

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

I saw some pics you were tagged in on Facebook. Looked fab.

My philosophy is that life is to be enjoyed and you put me to shame when it comes to putting ideology into practice! Chapeau!

Stripes
Guest
Stripes

Life IS to be enjoyed! None of the hum drum or menial tasks pics get posted, so others only see the fun highlights, but it’s a great life even on drudgery days entre pandemic. Hilarious, but you are enjoying family life…. I miss that! Grass always greener, eh?

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

Yes – and the extra family time is certainly the best thing about the current situation. That and the fact I haven’t been to work for two months grin

Sonia always says I’m an expert at relaxing but sometimes that affects my motivation to do other stuff I would enjoy. Need to make an effort to be more active when this is all over.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

I am quite good at doing nothing and enjoying it!

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Campfire and bourbon is a pretty perfect Saturday night!

IntentionallyWidenberg
Admin
IntentionallyWidenberg

Ahhhh Whistle Pig — I’ve enjoyed their Rye whiskey – and suffered the burn. That stuff wrecks my stomach, but I love a good rye-based manhattan. Just can’t resist them.