The restart of the NHL season. The new format of the playoffs, 24 teams and 2 cities

In the NHL ended a three-day period of exhibition matches and teams are preparing to get back in the game with the playoffs on the 1st of August. We explain how to work the unusual format of the playoffs 2020.

Involved 24 teams

League of coronavirus interrupted the regular season in March, and summer decided to resume the season with the playoffs. However, instead of the usual 16 participants are now in the playoffs will play 24 teams – 12 in the East and the West. Why expand the playoffs? Just as many teams were on the verge of getting into the playoffs and had the opportunity to fight in the regular season, and since it was canceled, those who remained mathematical chances to qualify, got a place in the playoffs.

In the NBA, for example, went a different way and decided to play the part of the regular season, to have a classic playoffs. What is the best option – show practices.

The format of the playoffs

NHL to reduce the number of participants to the usual 16-year-came up with the preliminary round of the playoffs, which will leave 4 teams of the East and West. The matches of this round will be best of five victories, and not up to the usual four. In the East in the preliminary round will play the Pittsburgh – Montreal, Carolina, Rangers, islanders, Florida, Toronto, Columbus. In the West the struggle will lead Edmonton to Chicago, Nashville – Arizona, Vancouver, Minnesota, calgary, Winnipeg.

And yet named team will play top 4 of each conference will hold a kind group stage to, firstly, determine seeding and home court advantage, and secondly, to have match practice. In the East in this top-4 will play Boston, Tampa Bay, Washington and Philadelphia, and in the West – St. Louis, Colorado, Vegas and Dallas. They all have left in the first round and await their opponents.

In the preliminary round of the playoffs will begin on the traditional first round with the usual rules of four victories in the series.

Where and how to play

All the matches will be played without fans in two cities-hubs – Toronto and Edmonton. The Stanley Cup finals will be held in Edmonton.

Key dates

1st August – start of the preliminary round of the playoffs

10th August – the winner will be chosen lottery draft pick

11th August – start of the first round

25th August – the start of the second round

8th September – start of the conference finals

22nd September – the start of the Stanley Cup finals

4th October – last possible day of the season

October 9-10 – NHL draft

17 November – start of training camps

1st December – the start of the regular season 2020/21

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