In case you missed it yesterday, Sportsnet hockey insider Elliotte Friedman reported that the NHL and NHLPA are working on a 24-team conference based Stanley Cup Playoffs and have settled on a format that would see a 1st round bye for eight teams, with a best-of-five "play in" series be played amongst the remaining 16 teams.
Check it out:
Okay, so how will this play out? Who plays who?
Again from Friedman:
The top four seeds (based on points percentage) in the East would be Boston, Tampa Bay, Washington and Philadelphia. Top four in the West would be St. Louis, Colorado, Vegas and Dallas.
They would receive byes through the play-in, but participate in a three-game tournament to get some action. I confess I’m not certain of all the details on if or how it would affect playoff seeding.
The rest of the playoffs would be “bracketed.” That means, in both conferences 5 vs. 12 (winner plays four seed), 6 vs. 11 (winner plays three seed), 7 vs. 10 (winner plays two seed) and 8 vs. 9 (winner plays one seed).
So that would mean an opening round of: Pittsburgh/Montreal; Carolina/Rangers; Islanders/Florida and Toronto/Columbus in the East and Edmonton/Chicago; Nashville/Arizona; Vancouver/Minnesota; Calgary/Winnipeg in the West.
The play-in series would be a best-of-five. The rest of the playoffs would be best-of-seven.
There are some JUICY matchups in this format! Pens vs Habs, Blackhawks vs Oilers, Flames vs Jets, Hurricanes vs Rangers! I'm not going to lie... this could be entertaining as Hell.
Let’s drop the puck, boys!