Well,... here we are, the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs,... Covid Edition,... Covid Cup,... whatever.
Who's your team?
Thoughts on the playoff format.
How will the 2021 NHL playoffs work?
With the tweaks to the divisions, things look a little different this year. One normal element is that each series will be a best-of-seven.
Here's the breakdown:
East Division: (1) Penguins vs. (4) Islanders; (2) Capitals vs. (3) Bruins
North Division: (1) Maple Leafs vs. (4) Canadiens; (2) Oilers vs. (3) Jets
West Division: (1) Avalanche vs. (4) Blues; (2) Golden Knights vs. (3) Wild
Central Division: (1) Hurricanes vs. (4) Predators; (2) Panthers vs. (3) Lightning
The first seed of each division will play the fourth-place team while the No. 2 and No. 3 teams will meet.
The winners of these first-round meetings will then face off to crown a division winner.
Once the divisions wrap up their play, the four remaining teams advance to the Stanley Cup semifinals. The four teams will be re-seeded based on their regular-season point totals with the team with the most points facing the team with the fewest. The winners of the semis battle it out in the 2021 Stanley Cup Final.
Sorry, but there will not be an awarding of the Prince of Wales Trophy or Clarence S. Campbell Bowl in 2021.
Are fans allowed?
The 12 teams in the United States have been allowing fans into their buildings for a while, with some teams upping their capacity recently. In Canada, like the regular season, fans will not be in attendance.
Where will the North Division winner play?NHL playoff fan capacity:
St. Louis: 9,000
Tampa Bay: 7,000
New York Islanders: 6,800
Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Winnipeg: 0
— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) May 14, 2021
Because of the border closure between the United States and Canada, and Canada's quarantine requirement upon arrival, there have been some discussions regarding whether the team will need to be relocated. If cross-border travel is not allowed by the Canadian government, it sounds like the Canadian division champ will relocate to an NHL city (whose team did not make the playoffs) south of the border.
ESPN's Greg Wyshynski reports that the NHL has told the Canadian government that it will need to know by June 1, which is one day after the first round can end, if it goes the distance.
107.9 KB Views: 8
95.4 KB Views: 8