And here we ... go. The NHLPA executive board (31 players) are taking a vote right now on the 24 team (conference based) playoff format.
Here is how the seeding would play out..
The Top 4 seeds (based on points %) in the East: Boston, Tampa Bay, Washington, Philadelphia
Top 4 seeds in the West: St. Louis, Colorado, Vegas, Dallas
Top 4 seeds would receive a "bye" through the play in, but they would participate in a three game tournament to get action (like a round robin, would also determine seeding..)
Rest of playoffs would be bracketed, in both conferences, so the 5 seed would play the 12 (then the winner would play the 4 seed), 6 vs. 11 (winner plays 3 seed), 7 vs. 10 (winner plays 2 seed), then 8 vs 9 (winner plays the top seed). I personally think the entire playoff should be re-seeded after the play in games to award the teams that were dominant in the regular season. aka the Bruins
Obviously there are SO many more questions surrounding the playoffs if this passes… such as testing, hub cities, what happens if a player or multiple players test positive, etc, etc, but it feels like we're a step closer towards hockey and for that I'm fired up. Chief blogged last night that Vegas seems like a lock for a hub city.
The matchups have the potential to be really good too… Chicago vs. Edmonton, Toronto vs. CBJ… Pittsburgh vs. Montreal… Flames and Jets. It's interesting to ask people if they want the season to end/get ready for next year or who wants hockey to return.
My quick two cents… the Bruins have been an absolute wagon all season long and it'd be a shame if they couldn't continue. Obviously it's going to be a different kind of playoff, but like Bruce Cassidy said, "I love our chances no matter how it shakes out." Being the Top seed almost hurts the Bruins, by not playing in a potential 5 game or 3 game series. If they face a hot team they could be fucked. Also, the top 4 seeds will play each other to play for seeding. But does it matter if there is no home ice advantage anyway? What happens if your star player gets hurt before the first REAL round? Would this Cup have an asterisk next to it? Chief and I talked about the potential format on my podcast today and we get into all of these questions.
Have a listen and let me know what you think.