As the NHL and NHLPA continue to hammer out proposals for continuing the 2019-2020 NHL season, the idea of a 24-team playoff appears to be continuing to gain serious traction.
And while nothing has been finalized at this stage, the NHL and NHLPA have a framework to at least discuss with their constituents.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 21, 2020
If this proposal were to be approved as is, the New York Ranges would be in the playoffs, in one of the new “play in” brackets.
The current format calls for the top four seeds in each conference (based on points percentage) to get a bye through the play in round, but will play a three-game tournament to get their blood flowing. As for everyone else, from Sportsnet:
The rest of the playoffs would be “bracketed.” That means, in both conferences 5 vs. 12 (winner plays four seed), 6 vs. 11 (winner plays three seed), 7 vs. 10 (winner plays two seed) and 8 vs. 9 (winner plays one seed).
So that would mean an opening round of: Pittsburgh/Montreal; Carolina/Rangers; Islanders/Florida and Toronto/Columbus in the East and Edmonton/Chicago; Nashville/Arizona; Vancouver/Minnesota; Calgary/Winnipeg in the West.
Of all the matchups the Rangers could draw, it could be worse that Carolina. Then again, the Rangers are likely going to be a boom or bust option regardless of who they play.
The details are still being worked out, and there’s likely more changes coming, but for right now this is what we’re working with.