One part of the NHL’s Return to Play Plan was that their would be a 24 team playoff. 16 teams would end up being in a best-of-five playoff series to make it to the playoffs. The other eight teams we’re the top four teams in their respective conferences, in which they will play a Round Robin to decide playoff seeding. Those teams we’re: In the East, 1- Boston Bruins, 2- Tampa Bay Lightning, 3- Washington Capitals, and 4- Philadelphia Flyers. Now the West, 1- St. Louis Blues, 2- Colorado Avalanche, 3- Vegas Golden Knights, 4- Dallas Stars. As of August 9, 2020.
Every series/round robin is over except the eight seed, Toronto Maple Leafs, versus the nine seed, Columbus Blue Jackets, that series is tied 2-2, Game 5 is on at 8pm on NBSCN. On Friday, it was “Elimination Day” in the NHL Stanley Cup Qualifiers. Every series expect the Jackets versus Leafs series, ended on Friday. Major upsets happened. Both 12 seeds eliminated the 5 seeds, in the Montreal Canadiens defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in 4 games, and the Chicago Blackhawks defeating the Edmonton Oilers in 4 games as well. Other games on Friday we’re down to the wire overtime games, there we’re a total of three overtime games on “Elimination Day”. The Arizona Coyotes defeated the Nashville Predators 4-3 in overtime to win the series in 4 games, the Vancouver Canucks beat the Minnesota Wild 5-4, 11 seconds into overtime to win the series in 4. Now the craziest of the overtime games on Friday. The Columbus Blue Jackets who had a 3-0 lead with 4 minutes to play in the 3rd Period, the Toronto Maple Leafs pull the goalie 3 times, and they tie the game 3-3. The Leafs have a power-play in overtime, Auston Matthews, the Maple Leafs young star, wide open at the top of the circle pots the game winner, and bedlam ensues in a “fanless” Scotiabank Arena. The only non-upset/overtime game was the Florida Panthers falling in 4 games to the New York Islanders 5-1. The other series that ended before “Elimination Day” was the Carolina Hurricanes the 6 seed defeating the 11 seed New York Rangers in threegames, and the Calgary Flames the 8 seed defeating the Winnipeg Jets the 9 seed in four games.
Every series for the Stanley Cup Playoffs has been decided except who the Tampa Bay Lightning the second seed in the Playoffs will play, it will either be last year Cinderella story Columbus Blue Jackets who swept them in 4 games in the 2019 Postseason, or their Division Rival Toronto Maple Leafs. Whoever loses that game will be put into the hat for the 1st Overall Pick lottery on Monday, August 10, 2020. The teams in the running for the 1st Overall Pick are the Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild, and Winnipeg Jets. All I can say is that, I am very, very excited for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoff starting Tuesday, August 11, 2020.