The NHL actually fixed their 24-team Stanley Cup Playoff format

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals, NHL Stanley Cup Final. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals, NHL Stanley Cup Final. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The NHL made some corrections to its new 24-team playoff format and actually made the right call on its seeding format.

The NHL has put some finishing touches on their newly announced 24-team playoff format, and is now inching ever closer to finishing the 2019-20 season with a proper format.

On Thursday, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman announced that the new NHL playoff format would have teams be re-seeded after the advancing from the qualifying round. Originally the plan by the NHL was to have a bracketed tournament where for example, the winner of the No. 5 vs. No. 12 matchup would only face the No. 4 seed in the conference and so forth. However the NHLPA pushed back in order to have teams reseeded after the qualifying round, and now they’ve gotten their wish.

Friedman also added that the qualifying round will be a best-of-five series, while the following four playoff rounds will follow the traditional Stanley Cup Playoff format of a best-of-seven series. This could mean the playoffs will follow the usual two months, which could have some complications depending on how far the season restart is pushed back.

NHL gives in to re-seeding, best-of-seven series for playoff format

Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston also confirmed that the seeding for the top four teams in each conference will be based on the three game round robin tournament as previously expected, but with regular season points percentage serving as a tiebreaker if needed.

While these details were critical logistics to iron before a season restart, there is still plenty of other issues to work out before games can safely resume. However, it seems as though the league is still on schedule to reopen training camps in July.

Perhaps once the league is hopefully able to resume normal operations past this season, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to revisit the normal playoff format and institute some similar changes to the ones they’ve made here. Regardless, it’s good to see the NHL making the correct moves here to ensure it’s presumed season resumption won’t be a mess.

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