This COVID-19 pandemic has covered all major sports events in a cloud of uncertainty and chaos since most countries have been forced to avoid big group gatherings. The NHL’s Stanley Cup has been on the verge of being cancelled thanks to this situation, but we finally have a certain answer to the queries.
As of May, Gary Bettman who is the NHL commissioner, let us know that this year’s Stanley Cup will take place with some modifications to the format. The NHLPA has come up with an NHL Return Play Plan to make it possible for the season to start and be a complete success.
This year’s cup’s playoff will feature 24 teams and make it so that a modified postseason is available for 12 teams from each conference to play. On August the 1st the playoffs have begun, with the qualifiers and round-robins, and the final has a tentative date of September the 22nd.
The first teams to play are going to be the Panthers vs. Islanders, Canadiens vs. Penguins, Flames vs. Jets, the Rangers vs. Hurricanes, and Blackhawks vs. Oilers. It is important to note that the training camps were able to open as recently as July the 13th.
Only two cities will be hosting the games, with Edmonton being the one where Western Conference will play and Toronto welcoming the Eastern Conference.
Both the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference will have their qualifying rounds that will see the top four seeds making it to the cup’s playoffs’ brackets. They will be playing the round-robin tournament while the remaining 12 seeds keep facing each other for the spots in the brackets still left to be filled.
Once the bracket is fully set, the series of the playoff will be determined with best-of-seven right from the first round through the very final of the Stanley Cup.
While with a few modifications to make it all happen faster but safer, this year’s Stanley Cup has been saved among the chaos, and we can’t wait to see who manages to win.