Road to the 2019/20 Stanley Cup Playoffs
The quarantine that swept through the world affected all of the major leagues, including the NHL. The league suspended its 2019/20 season indefinitely on March 12.
In late May, League Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the remaining regular-season games would not be completed. Instead, the league would jump straight into a 24-team playoff for the Stanley Cup, the season for the remaining seven teams has come to an end.
New Jersey Devils
Los Angeles Kings
San Jose Sharks
Detroit Red Wings
Important Dates for the Return of Hockey
Right now, the players are in the second phase of a four-phase plan. The teams are currently in phase two of the plan which began on June 2.
Phase two includes making sure that all players and teams will have a safe and controlled playing environment to return to training camp. The players are currently allowed to train in separate groups of six people.
Phase three is set to begin on July 10. This will detail the league’s return to full training camps in preparation for the season’s Stanley Cup playoffs. This phase will only be realized if all medical and safety requirements are met.
Finally, after the completion of the middle two phases, we will meet phase 4, which is the official start of the 2019/20 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. The entire playoffs will take place in two hub cities from either America or Canada. Several cities are currently in the running, including some of the biggest hockey cities in North America.
According to the latest data, the league leadership, together with the players' union, decided to open official training camps for the teams continuing the season on July 10th. NHL officials emphasize that opening camps will only be possible if all medical and safety requirements are met. The duration of the training camps and the start dates of the matches will be determined later.
NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Format
The NHL season will resume in the middle of Summer with the highest competition of the league, between 24 of the league’s top teams.
The four best clubs from each conference will play three matches in a round-robin format and thus determine the seeding number in the playoffs. Boston, Tampa Bay, Washington, and Philadelphia will face off in the East, and St. Louis, Colorado, Vegas, and Dallas in the West.
The remaining 16 teams are divided into pairs, they will play in the qualifying round series of three games. In the Eastern Conference, we already have our expected first-round matchups. As always, Legalbet will bring you the best odds we have found for each of these contests.
Eastern Conference Playoff Matchups
Matchups in the Eastern Conference include:
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadians
Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Rangers
New York Islanders vs. Florida Panthers
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Western Conference Playoff Matchups
Matchups in the Western Conference include:
- Edmonton Oilers vs. Chicago Blackhawks
- Nashville Predators vs. Arizona Coyotes
- Vancouver Canucks vs. Minnesota Wild
- Calgary Flames vs. Winnipeg Jets
Stanley Cup Conference Winners
Currently, sportsbooks have presented lines to the winners of the East and West. In the Eastern Conference, the main favourites are Tampa Bay and Boston. Both teams are also shared favourites to take home the Stanley Cup at the end.