What Will Stanley Cup Playoffs Look Like After Coronavirus Passes?by Glenn Kaplan March 16, 2020 0 comments
The NHL, as of last Thursday, decided to pause its season due to the coronavirus; this is one of the craziest times in sports and throughout the entire world.
What is going to happen when the NHL decides to resume its season? They did not say for how long they will be shut down.
Although they did not give a timeline on when they will resume play, they do plan on being back as soon as possible when the conditions are safe to do so.
A lot of schools and public gatherings are closing for the next two weeks at minimum to limit the spread of the pandemic.
Assuming this isn’t as bad as it is made out to be, we will see what is going to happen next and maybe things can return back to normal as soon as possible.
If the NHL decides to go straight to the postseason, they will have a monster decision to make. Will they put teams in the playoffs based on points or points percentage?
If the NHL decided to make the postseason based on points only, the Columbus Blue Jackets (33-22-15 record with 81 points so far this season) would face the Boston Bruins (44-14-12 record with 100 points so far this season) in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Toronto Maple Leafs (36-25-9 record with 81 points so far this season) would take on the Tampa Bay Lightning (43-21-6 record with 92 points so far this season).
The Carolina Hurricanes (38-25-5 record with 81 points so far this season) would face the Washington Capitals (41-20-8 record with 90 points so far this season) in. This would be the second consecutive season that Carolina and Washington would face each other in the first round of the playoffs.
The Pittsburgh Penguins (40-23-6 record with 86 points so far this season) would face the Philadelphia Flyers (41-21-7 record with 89 points so far this season). This would be the second time in three seasons that Pittsburgh and Philadelphia would face each other in the first round.
In the Western Conference, the Nashville Predators (35-26-8 record with 78 points so far this season) would take on the St. Louis Blues (42-19-10 record with 94 points so far this season).
The Dallas Stars (37-24-8 record with 82 points so far this season) would take on the Colorado Avalanche (42-20-8 record with 92 points so far this season).
The Winnipeg Jets (37-28-6 record with 80 points so far this season) would take on the Vegas Golden Knights (39-24-6 record with 86 points so far this season).
The final matchup would be the Calgary Flames (36-27-7 record with 79 points so far this season) taking on the Edmonton Oilers (37-25-9 record with 83 points so far this season).
This could be one way that the NHL decides the playoffs. Whether it is the right move or not is another story because some of the teams played more games than others.
If the NHL decided to go to the playoff structure based off of points percentage, the matchups would be New York Islanders vs. Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes vs. Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers, Calgary Flames vs. St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars vs. Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators vs. Vegas Golden Knights, and Vancouver Canucks vs. Edmonton Oilers.
This would be utter chaos because Vancouver and New York would be out of the playoffs if they went to the points system and Columbus and Winnipeg would be out of the playoffs if they decided to go to the percentage system.
There will be a lot of unhappy parties in this situation and they have to figure out what is the best for the entire league. Should they play no more than five to seven games in the regular season at the most or maybe have a play-in game for the teams that are close to the postseason?
The NHL has already made it clear that they want to award a Stanley Cup winner this season. If they want to start the postseason in May just like they did when the lockout happened, that is totally fine.
All that we ask for is a fair playoff selection and a Stanley Cup champion once again.