Since the start of this season pause, the main question on everyone's mind was when will games be back? Today we took another step towards answering that question. With the basic format of the 24 team playoff was announced, the details are still being negotiated. So far it looks like some victories have already been won by the players.
What We Learned
So hockey twitter was filled with some good news today starting with this tweet from Darren Dreger.
In the tweet, Dreger confirms the qualifying round will be a best of five series and all other playoff rounds will be best of seven. The biggest news he saves for last, saying the teams will be reseeded after each round, with the highest seed remaining facing the lowest. This tweet from Elliotte Friedman also talks about the playoffs moving away from the bracketed format to reseeding.
It also talks about the qualifying round being five games, and all other rounds being seven. Both tweets making it clear the players won this round. The league had been in support of a bracket format from the start with the players wanting reseeding.
The other news of the day came in a tweet from Chris Johnston.
His tweet covers the top four teams from each conference, and the three-game round-robin which will be used for seeding. Chris also confirms regular-season points percentage will be used as a tiebreaker. So if the Bruins and Lightning both go 2-1 the Bruins would win the tiebreaker because of their higher points percentage. Not the news Bruins or Blues fans wanted, but it's at least something the being the top teams wins them a tiebreaker.
Now this isn't a huge development, but the move to reseeding over brackets is a win for the league even if they didn't support the idea. The top teams should be rewarded for their regular season. With some teams likely to be upset, locking teams in a bracket doesn't reward top teams for the work they put into their season. If the Bruins win the top seed and Montreal beats Pittsburgh the Bruins should play Montreal, not the winner of Toronto vs Columbus.
As for the lengths of each series being seven games, you could take that as a sign the league thinks the playoffs will start in the early part of their timeline, meaning early August late July as a possible return date. With the first draft lottery now just a few weeks away, followed by the opening of qualifying teams training camps, there is light at the end of the tunnel. We still have a long way to go and possibly two more months before actual games, but we can see a way to get there. With other leagues also announcing their return to play plans check out our other team’s pages for all the latest news and updates. Stay safe out there and know we are slowly getting back to normal.
Featured image courtesy of Patrick Smith/Getty Images.