A Look at the Potential First-Round Match-Ups

Published on May 23rd, 2020 11:39 am EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

The plans are coming together for the return of hockey. Earlier this week, the NHLPA's executive board voted to approve the NHL's proposed playoff format that will allow the NHL season to resume.

There are still details to be worked out, though this is how the system will be structured:

1. 24 Teams Will Make The Playoffs.

2. The 24 teams will be divided by Conference.

3. There will be a "play-in" round that will determine which of each conference's 8 lowest-ranked seeds advances to the next round. These "play-in" rounds will be a best-of-5.

4. The top four seeds in each conference will square off to determine seeding for the second round. These series will be a best-of-3.

5. The playoffs will take place in two "hub cities" (still to be determined), with games likely running all day, every day.

You got all of that?

Here are the top four teams from each Conference that would be playing for second round seeds:

Eastern Conference

Tampa Bay

Western Conference

St. Louis


Here are the proposed first round play-in series:

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Montreal Canadiens
Carolina Hurricanes vs New York Rangers
New York Islanders vs Florida Panthers
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Columbus Blue Jackets

Edmonton Oilers vs Chicago Blackhawks
Nashville Predators vs Arizona Coyotes
Vancouver Canucks vs Minnesota Wild
Calgary Flames vs Winnipeg Jets

We can assume that the "seeding" playoff series will look like this:

Boston Bruins vs Philadelphia Flyers
Tampa Bay Lightning vs Washington Capitals

St. Louis Blues vs Dallas Stars
Colorado Avalanche vs Vegas Golden Knights


The start of the 2020/21 season will likely be pushed back in order to accommodate this playoff schedule, which would go through the summer.

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