There is only one day left before the first matches of the 2020 NHL playoffs start. Each one of 24 teams is going to play one exhibition game, which will escalate to the regular playoffs starting on the 1st of August. The playoffs closure and the Stanley Cup finals are scheduled for the last week of October.
Even though the playoffs were not canceled, after all, there`s still not a 100% chance that no force-major will occur. The tough situation with the pandemic has already affected the schedule, and it also demands rigorous health guidelines, eventually created and ratified by the NFL Players Association. There will be special space created for players only, including food facilities, hotels, and arenas, so they will be quarantined from all the rest of the people, not to mention the daily COVID-2019 testing.
The bad news is that for now there is not a chance for fans to see any of the playoff games as they are going to take place behind closed doors, as confirmed by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. The games will be broadcasted through a bunch of national and world media, which might numb the pain a little bit. Especially when we keep in mind the new visual technologies being implemented soon.
24 teams are divided into 12 for each conference. The team position is determined by its points` percentage at the time the previous season was suspended on the 12th of March. Top-4 teams in each conference play Seeding Round Robin while eight lower-seeded teams play Qualifying Round. Two winners from each series are meeting one another in the Second Round. Conference Finals will define the winner of each conference, and those two will meet at the end of October for the Stanley Cup Finals.
Hockey fans all around the globe can`t wait for the playoffs to start. They are making some predictions regarding the finals, the same as high-class sports resources. Surprising is that the majority of people draw their attention to the teams with more experienced players, whilst others are saying that injuries might prevent them from proceeding further. Anyway, defense and experience are dominant factors, so we came up with two teams that will very likely play in the finals this year.
As for the Eastern Conference, that must be Presidents` Trophy Winners, the Boston Bruins with their incredible goaltending and defense. The Colorado Avalanche, on the other hand, must have been dominant in the Western Conference. Who will win in their clash is the big question, but the Avalanche has something to beat the Bruins with. If Grubauer and Francouz rise to the occasion, the Avalanche is very likely going to win the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2001.
What is good about hockey, you never know what is really going to happen next. This is a rough sport with rough players, who have been waiting a long time to show what they are capable of. If there`ll be no operating obstacles, there’s no doubt that the playoffs are not going to disappoint us, considering the improvements of the broadcast and streaming systems.
Who will be the winner in the hockey playoffs?