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Who's getting squeezed by NHL's return?
The NHL's plan to restart isn't exactly equitable for all teams. Here are the teams that will compete for the Stanley Cup, ranked by who should feel most chafed.
Posted: 05/27/2020

NHL monitoring situation before choosing where to play games
Seven of the 10 locations the NHL has zeroed in on to hold playoff games if it resumes are American cities not restricted by Canada's 14-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival. As 24 teams figure out how to squeeze an expanded roster and limited personnel into one of two ''hub'' cities, the Vancouver Canucks are even considering relocating training camp to the U.S. if the situation doesn't change in the coming weeks. ''It's something that we're thinking about, but also too we just want to give it a few more days just to see if something is going to change,'' Vancouver general manager Jim Benning said Wednesday.
Posted: 05/28/2020

How Blackhawks' paused 2020 NHL season may compare to 2012-13 lockout
When the Blackhawks had group practices at Johnny's IceHouse West during the 2012-13 lockout while they waited for the season to start, there was a purpose and intensity that carried into official team practices, training camp, the regular season and hoisting the Stanley Cup after the 2013 playoffs concluded.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Criticism doesn't alter Sabres GM's plan to build with youth
Jason Botterill is very much aware of the criticism he’s attracted overseeing a Buffalo Sabres team that extended its playoff drought to nine years by failing to even qualify for the NHL’s expanded 24-team format. “There’s always urgency in this position, and I’m not surprised that our passionate fans want to see a winner on the ice,” Botterill said during a Zoom conference call Wednesday, a day after the Sabres were officially eliminated following the league’s decision to forego the remainder of the regular season. , there wasn’t enough consistency to extend the Sabres’ 50th anniversary year after games were placed on pause due to the pandemic in March.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Canada urged to lift Covid restrictions for NHL players
Canada's federal government has been urged to relax its coronavirus quarantine controls to boost Edmonton's chances of hosting part of the National Hockey League playoffs. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney made the request in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday as the NHL announced it is considering Edmonton as one of 10 possible hub cities to restart the season in.
Posted: 05/27/2020

NHL 24-team postseason simulations are not kind to Chicago Blackhawks
The Athletic recently ran through the NHL's 24-team postseason 50,000 times, and it looks like the Hawks have tough times ahead.
Posted: 05/27/2020

2020 NHL Playoffs: Cam Neely calls playoff format 'disappointing' from Bruins' perspective
Through 70 games, the Bruins had staked their claim as the NHL's top team. Now the B's will have to earn the No. 1 seed in the Stanley Cup Playoffs over three round robin games, a format Cam Neely isn't exactly thrilled with.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Pens F Bjugstad out for season after having spinal surgery
The Pittsburgh Penguins will head into whatever becomes of the NHL postseason without forward Nick Bjugstad. The team announced Wednesday that Bjugstad underwent spinal surgery to repair a herniated disk. General manager Jim Rutherford said the surgery was necessary after Bjugstad had a ''setback'' while recovering from a lower-body injury suffered just before the NHL went on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Reported NHL expanded rosters gives Blackhawks options in 24-team format
What might the Blackhawks do if they have extra skaters at their disposal?
Posted: 05/27/2020

This Date in Bruins History: B's beat Lightning in epic Game 7, reach Final
May 27 is a great day in the history of the Boston Bruins. The B's have played two games, and both were Stanley Cup Playoff victories.
Posted: 05/27/2020

NHL Odds: Blackhawks are long-shots to win Stanley Cup, but could upset Oilers
While the Blackhawks never feel like underdogs in the postseason, oddsmakers disagree this year
Posted: 05/27/2020

Penguins playoff injury updates: Bad news for Bjugstad, good for Guentzel
Also bad news for Dominik Simon.
Posted: 05/27/2020

2020 NHL Playoffs: Ranking Bruins' potential first-round opponents
When the Bruins open the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which opponent should they hope to play \- and which would be the toughest draw? DJ Bean breaks down the eight possible first-round matchups.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Red Wings to retain Blashill as head coach for 2020-21 season
At his end-of-season press conference, Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman said he has no interest in making a coaching change at this time.
Posted: 05/27/2020

2020 NHL playoffs: Flyers' outlook for round robin, first round
How could the Flyers fare in the round-robin portion of the NHL's 24-team return-to-play format and what would it ultimately mean for their outlook? We outline three important factors. By Jordan Hall
Posted: 05/27/2020

Steve Yzerman says Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill keeping job
Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman is keeping coach Jeff Blashill despite another lackluster season. Yzerman told reporters on Wednesday his previously announced plans to keep Blashill behind the bench have not changed. Blashill's record over five seasons in Detroit is 153-194-52.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Sweet 16: NHL playoffs qualifying round tough to predict
The NHL's regular season is over and the chase for the Stanley Cup is on if hockey returns this summer.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Patrick Kane shares how he's spending time during coronavirus pandemic
Kane shares how he's trying to stay in shape, and some of his leisure activities too.
Posted: 05/27/2020

NBCSN’s Hockey Happy Hour: Cale Makar’s memorable NHL debut
This week’s Hockey Happy Hour on NBCSN will feature four notable milestone and record performances.
Posted: 05/27/2020

NHL not ruling out Bruins playoff games at TD Garden in later rounds
When the NHL resumes its season, it will do so in two of 10 previously announced hub cities, but Boston hasn't been completely ruled out as a host for later rounds if circumstances allow, writes Joe Haggerty.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Ever wonder series: What the heck is Gritty?
You know him, you (probably) love him ... but do you know what Gritty actually is? We finally received some answers. By Brooke Destra
Posted: 05/27/2020

Plenty to figure out before NHL decides on hub cities
The league is still investigating the cities they'll use, which will be dependent on COVID-19 conditions, testing ability and government regulations.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Why goalies will have the hardest time adjusting to NHL's return, per Joe Beninati
Goalies may face the steepest uphill climb when the NHL returns to the ice.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Flyers' playoff hype video will leave you wanting to run through a wall
There is only one thing better than hockey ... and that's playoff hockey. Luckily for Philadelphia, the Flyers have been more than ready for a challenge like this. By Brooke Destra
Posted: 05/27/2020

PHT Morning Skate: Return to Play reaction; DeBoer on Golden Knights
Wednesday's collection of links.
Posted: 05/27/2020

‘A step toward normalcy’ – NHL shapes a return to play plan
Rosy as the news might sound, Gary Bettman made no promises in announcing the NHL has the framework of a plan in place to return to the ice.
Posted: 05/27/2020

NHL Return to Play: A look at the Western Conference matchups
PHT previews Flames - Jets, Blackhawks - Oilers, Wild - Canucks, and Predators - Coyotes.
Posted: 05/27/2020

NHL Return to Play: A look at the Eastern Conference matchups
The NHL announced the Return to Play format on Tuesday and we take a look at the four Qualifying Round matchups as we wait for puck drop.
Posted: 05/27/2020

The Latest: NBA reminding teams players overseas can return
The NBA reminded its teams Wednesday that players who are currently outside the U.S. have been cleared to return, though quarantine rules may apply in some areas. A small number of NBA players from foreign countries left for home during the pandemic. Teams are expecting guidance, perhaps as soon as later this week, as to when they will be allowed to resume full-scale practicing in advance of a possible resumption of the NBA season later this summer.
Posted: 05/27/2020

'A step toward normalcy' - NHL shapes a return to play plan
Rosy as the news might sound, Gary Bettman made no promises in announcing the NHL has the framework of a plan in place to return to the ice. ''If it has to slide more, then it'll slide,'' Bettman said, referring to the timetable.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Flyers Talk podcast: 24-team NHL playoffs? Keith Jones helps us analyze it all
On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall are joined by special guest Keith Jones, the former Flyer and current NHL analyst.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Is a bye into the Round of 16 a good thing for the Caps? Gary Bettman explains pros, cons
The round robin tournament for the top teams may seem unnecessary, but it will provide those teams with some much-needed game action.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Patrick Sharp and Eddie Olczyk preview star-studded Blackhawks-Oilers series
After a season in which it seemed likely the Blackhawks would miss the playoffs for a third straight year, all of a sudden under the NHL's 24-team playoff format to resume play, that have a legitimate chance to be in.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Let's not shed tears for the Bruins getting 'screwed' by NHL playoff format
The Bruins caught every break last spring on their way to the Stanley Cup Finals. So, as our DJ Bean writes, we can't feel sorry for this year's edition because they have to navigate a tricky playoff format.
Posted: 05/27/2020

NJ Devils season comes to end as NHL plots playoff plan
The New Jersey Devils' season came to an end on Tuesday after the NHL abandoned the rest of the regular season and announced plans to head straight into the playoffs with 24 teams. Only seven teams were left out of the postseason under the plan commissioner Gary Bettman unveiled to resume the season later this summer. The Devils had a 28-29-12 record in a regular season that saw both coach John Hynes and general manager Ray Shero fired.
Posted: 05/27/2020

NHL announces return to play for the 2019-2020 season
RESENDING WITH UPDATED SCRIPT VIDEO SHOWS: STATEMENT BY NHL COMMISSIONER GARY BETTMAN, FILE FOOTAGE OF WASHINGTON CAPITALS TRAINING AND THEIR VICTORY PARADE AFTER WINNING THE STANLEY CUP SHOWS: WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES (FILE) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. WASHINGTON CAPITALS TEAM TRAINING NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (MAY 26, 2020) (NHL - MUST COURTESY NHL) 2. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NHL COMMISSIONER, GARY BETTMAN, SAYING: "Good afternoon. I am delighted to be with you today to announce our resumption of play and the format for the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs and the 2020 NHL Draft lottery." WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES (FILE - JUNE 12, 2018) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 3. WASHINGTON CAPITALS STANLEY CUP PARADE NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (MAY 26, 2020) (NHL - MUST COURTESY NHL) 4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NHL COMMISSIONER, GARY BETTMAN, SAYING: "As we seek some return to normalcy this is an important day, particularly for NHL fans. Since March 12 we have been hopeful and optimistic that by developing all options and alternatives we could get to this point. I know I join sports fans everywhere we cannot wait for our players to hit the ice again and I look forward to the greatest privilege of all - presenting the most stories and coveted trophy in all of sports to the captain of the 2020 Stanley Cup champions." STORY: The National Hockey League will go straight into an expanded 24-team playoff format and all games will be held in two hub cities if action resumes this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Commissioner Gary Bettman said on Tuesday (May 26). Bettman, in a televised address, said 10 hub cities are under consideration but he did not give a potential start date for the Stanley Cup Playoffs or say when NHL players can even return to team facilities for voluntary workouts. Bettman also said he does not anticipate training camps opening before the first half of July, which means the playoffs, which typically run from mid-April to mid-June, could possibly not start until August. The cities being considered to host playoff games without spectators are Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Vancouver. Bettman's comments came a day after the NHL said in a memo to teams that it was targeting early June as the start date for Phase 2 of its Return to Play plan, which would include opening practice rinks for small, voluntary group workouts. The 31-team NHL, which has 24 clubs in the United States and seven in Canada, has been in Phase 1 of its return-to-play protocol since players were advised to self-quarantine in mid-March when the coronavirus brought live sports to a standstill. The final two phases of the return-to-play protocol would see full team training camps followed by a resumption of games. When the NHL suspended play in March as part of efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus there were still three weeks and 189 games left in its regular season and the Stanley Cup Playoffs scheduled to end in June. But Bettman said the regular season is now over and the NHL, when cleared, will instead get right into postseason action. Under the unique playoff format, the top four seeds in each conference - based on points percentage from the regular season - will receive byes through a play-in tournament but would take part in a three-game round-robin to stay fresh. The other 16 teams in the expanded field would compete in a play-in round featuring best-of-five series to determine the rest of the a traditional 16-team Stanley Cup playoff bracket. First- and second-round playoff matchups could be either best-of-five or best-of-seven series, Bettman said. Under the usual format, the NHL playoffs feature eight teams from each conference, with the Stanley Cup champion having to navigate four best-of-seven series. Only twice before has the Stanley Cup not been awarded: in 1919 because of the Spanish flu; and in 2005 when the season was called off due to a lockout. (Production: Peter Bullock)
Posted: 05/27/2020

Four reasons why the Blackhawks could make a run in 24-team format
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman outlined the league's return-to-play plan on Tuesday, which featured a 24-team format that will include the Blackhawks. Here are four reasons why Chicago can make a surprise run.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Kings and Ducks done for season, but SoCal fans still could get to see playoff hockey
Here's what Southland hockey fans can look forward to without the Kings or Ducks participating in the playoffs that will take place as early as July.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Blackhawks 'excited' to be among teams in NHL return to play plan
While it's not a done deal yet, exciting times seem to be on the horizon for the Blackhawks.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: The Blackhawks are in the playoffs (kind of)
Pat Boyle is joined by Charlie Roumeliotis, Scott King and Nick Gismondi as they discuss the new 24-team playoff that the Hawks are in.
Posted: 05/27/2020

NHL to restart with 24-team playoff in two hub cities
The National Hockey League announced Tuesday it will abandon the rest of the regular season and proceed directly to a 24-team playoff staged in two hub cities. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the revised schedule would "produce a worthy Stanley Cup champion" after a season that has been put on hold by the coronavirus pandemic. The NHL season has been on pause since March 12 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and all players currently remain under league-mandated quarantine.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Sharks GM Doug Wilson discusses odd end of season, coaching search
Wilson spoke with NBC Sports California in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Is new format unfair to Bruins? Sure, but hockey is one step closer to returning
The encouraging news is the headline here. Let's make no mistake about it. The NHL became the first major professional sports league to announce an official format to return to play in North America from the COVID-19 crisis with a 24-team tournament.
Posted: 05/27/2020

NHL moves ahead with 24-team playoff format if play resumes
The NHL will abandon the rest of the regular season and go straight into the playoffs with 24 teams instead of 16 - if it is able to resume play. The decision, announced Tuesday by Commissioner Gary Bettman, is no guarantee that games are coming back. The NHL and the NHL Players' Association must still figure out health and safety protocols and solve other issues.
Posted: 05/27/2020

Capitals are the class of the Metropolitan Division for fifth year in a row
The Capitals bested their rivals again in 2019-20. The shortened regular season means Washington wins its fifth straight Metropolitan Division title.
Posted: 05/27/2020

NHL draft lottery: How Sharks will be impacted by league's new setup
The NHL Draft lottery is going to be a bit complex, but from the Sharks' perspective, nothing really changes.
Posted: 05/26/2020

Who will the Caps play in their first playoff series? The round robin, explained.
The Caps will play a round-robin tournament against the other top seeds in the conference to determine playoff seeds.
Posted: 05/26/2020

Alex Ovechkin shares ninth Rocket Richard Trophy, but Capitals miss some other milestones
With the NHL season declared over, Alex Ovechkin tied with Boston's David Pastrnak for the Rocket Richard Trophy with 48 goals
Posted: 05/26/2020

NHL Standings: How the 24 teams rank in the return to play tournament
What are the NHL Standings now that the season is over and the 24-team tournament is coming.
Posted: 05/26/2020

Vegas Knights troll Sharks, LA Kings after making 2019-20 NHL playoffs
Sharks didn't need another reason to root against the Golden Knights, but Vegas gave it to them.
Posted: 05/26/2020

Stanley Cup odds 2020: Updated betting lines after 24-team return format unveiled
The latest Stanley Cup odds have been revealed following the NHL's announcement of a 24-team return-to-play plan.
Posted: 05/26/2020


1. BOS 70 44 14 12 53 100
2. TBL 70 43 21 6 50 92
3. WSH 69 41 20 8 25 90
4. PHI 69 41 21 7 36 89
5. PIT 69 40 23 6 28 86
6. TOR 70 36 25 9 11 81
7. CAR* 68 38 25 5 29 81
8. CBJ* 70 33 22 15 -7 81
9. NYI 68 35 23 10 -1 80
10. NYR 70 37 28 5 12 79
11. FLA 69 35 26 8 3 78
12. MTL 71 31 31 9 -9 71
13. BUF 69 30 31 8 -22 68
14. NJD 69 28 29 12 -41 68
15. OTT 71 25 34 12 -52 62
16. DET 71 17 49 5 -122 39

1. COL 70 42 20 8 46 92
2. STL 71 41 19 10 30 92
3. VGK 71 39 24 8 16 86
4. EDM 71 37 25 9 8 83
5. DAL 69 37 24 8 3 82
6. CGY 70 36 27 7 -5 79
7. WPG* 71 37 28 6 13 80
8. VAN* 69 36 27 6 11 78
9. NSH 69 35 26 8 -2 78
10. MIN 69 35 27 7 0 77
11. ARZ 70 33 29 8 8 74
12. CHI 70 32 30 8 -6 72
13. ANA 71 29 32 9 -37 67
14. LAK 70 29 35 6 -34 64
15. SJS 70 29 36 5 -44 63

BOS 70 44 14 12 100 227 174
TBL 70 43 21 6 92 245 195
TOR 70 36 25 9 81 238 227
FLA 69 35 26 8 78 231 228
MTL 71 31 31 9 71 212 221
BUF 69 30 31 8 68 195 217
OTT 71 25 34 12 62 191 243
DET 71 17 49 5 39 145 267

WSH 69 41 20 8 90 240 215
PHI 69 41 21 7 89 232 196
PIT 69 40 23 6 86 224 196
CAR 68 38 25 5 81 222 193
CBJ 70 33 22 15 81 180 187
NYI 68 35 23 10 80 192 193
NYR 70 37 28 5 79 234 222
NJD 69 28 29 12 68 189 230

COL 70 42 20 8 92 237 191
STL 71 41 19 10 92 222 192
DAL 69 37 24 8 82 180 177
WPG 71 37 28 6 80 216 203
NSH 69 35 26 8 78 215 217
MIN 69 35 27 7 77 220 220
CHI 70 32 30 8 72 212 218

VGK 71 39 24 8 86 227 211
EDM 71 37 25 9 83 225 217
CGY 70 36 27 7 79 210 215
VAN 69 36 27 6 78 228 217
ARZ 70 33 29 8 74 195 187
ANA 71 29 32 9 67 186 223
LAK 70 29 35 6 64 178 212
SJS 70 29 36 5 63 182 226
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