With talk of the NHL potentially coming back to finish the 2019-2020 season, every kind of progress that has been made has mentioned talks of a 24 team playoff format. Does this help or hurt the Boston Bruins? My fellow Believe in Boston Sports writer Michael Rudd also had an excellent article on how these playoffs might go.
More time to wait
One of the only ways that a 24 team playoff could work is if there is some sort of first round bye for certain teams. In most formats that have been predicted, the top four teams in each conference would receive that first round bye. The Bruins would fall into that group of teams in the Eastern Conference. Question being, how does this effect the Bruins?
In my personal opinion this type of first round bye will be more valuable than any kind ever in sports. Not only would it give the Bruins more time to get back into playing shape, even after a training camp that is sure to proceed the playoffs. Perhaps that won't even be the biggest advantage. It would also give the team more time to blend and regain chemistry with newly acquired teammates Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase, as well as the rest of the team in general. Not only would more time on the ice together favor the Bruins, but it would also give the Bruins at least three or four games to scout their opponent as they wait for the first round of play to finish. Or perhaps one depending on how the league decides to do the playoff format. Regardless, its time for the Bruins to scout.
More benefits of waiting
More time for the Bruins to wait for the first round of play to finish also means its more time for the Bruins to heal. While players might be healthy, they might not be 100% when they get back on the ice right away. Some time on the ice with the team will only help them prepare for play against an actual opponent. It also allows the other teams fighting for a spot to play the Bruins in the next round to beat each other up, which in reality only benefits the Bruins.
Bruins will be awarded for regular season dominance
Regardless of how people feel about the season potentially being finished or being cancelled, if given a first round bye, the advantages that come with it will absolutely be enough to justify the Bruins being so good in the regular season. It's a benefit that can change the way they play in the second round, and gives them time to prepare for their opponents. That's not a luxury that every team will get, but one that every team wants.
Credit to bostonlandingdevelopment.com for the featured image.