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2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Overview, Round Robin And Qualifying Schedule


The NHL returns tomorrow, and—even in a bubble environment with no fans—the Stanley Cup Playoffs should again deliver arguably the most exciting stretch of play in all of sports. Things will feel more normal when the top eight seeds in each conference are determined, but let’s get right to the look of an unprecedented 2020 race to the Stanley Cup.

 

Locations

 

Due to COVID-19, the Stanley Cup Playoffs will take place entirely within two hub cities:

 

Eastern Conference: Scotiabank Arena in Toronto

Western Conference: Rogers Place in Edmonton

 

Playoff Format

 

Round Robin

The top four teams in each conference play each other to determine first-round playoff seeding 1-4. The eight teams (four each conference) in the round robin have already qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Regular season overtime rules will be used during round robin play.

 

Eastern Conference

Boston Bruins

Tampa Bay Lightning

Washington Capitals

Philadelphia Flyers

 

Western Conference

St. Louis Blues

Colorado Avalanche

Las Vegas Golden Knights

Dallas Stars

 

Qualifying Round

The next eight teams in each conference will play best-of-five series to determine which team will advance to the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Postseason overtime rules (i.e. full five-on-five 20-minute periods, no shootouts) will be in effect for the qualifying round.

 

Eastern Conference matchups

5) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. 12) Montreal Canadiens

6) Carolina Hurricanes vs. 11) New York Rangers

7) New York Islanders vs. 10) Florida Panthers

8) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. 9) Columbus Blue Jackets

 

Western Conference matchups

5) Edmonton Oilers vs. 12) Chicago Blackhawks

6) Nashville Predators vs. 11) Arizona Coyotes

7) Vancouver Canucks vs. 10) Minnesota Wild

8) Calgary Flames vs. 9) Winnipeg Jets

 

Playoff Seeding

After the round robin play and the qualifying round, seeding is set for the First Round. Seeding is then reset for the Second Round (so the highest seed will play the lowest remaining seed, etc.).

 

Stanley Cup Playoffs

From there, the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the race to the Final will look like it normally does, with best-of-seven series in each conference before the Eastern Conference champion and the Western Conference champion face off for the Stanley Cup. Both the conference finals and the Stanley Cup Final will take place in Edmonton.

 

Schedule (*if necessary)

 

EASTERN CONFERENCE

 

Round Robin

Sunday, Aug. 2: Flyers vs. Bruins (3:00 PM ET, NBC)

Monday, Aug. 3: Capitals vs. Lightning (4:00 PM ET, NBCSN)

Wednesday, Aug. 5: Lightning vs. Bruins (4:00 PM ET, NBCSN)

Thursday, Aug. 6: Capitals vs. Flyers (TBD)

Saturday, Aug. 8: Flyers vs. Lightning (TBD)

Sunday, Aug. 9: Bruins vs. Capitals (TBD)

 

5) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. 12) Montreal Canadiens

Saturday, Aug. 1 – 8:00 PM ET, NBC

Monday, Aug. 3 – 8:00 PM ET, NBCSN

Wednesday, Aug. 5 – 8:00 PM ET, NBCSN

Friday, Aug. 7 – TBD

Saturday, Aug. 8 – TBD

 

6) Carolina Hurricanes vs. 11) New York Rangers

Saturday, Aug. 1 – 12:00 PM ET, NBCSN

Monday, Aug. 3 – 12:00 PM ET, NBCSN

Tuesday, Aug. 4 – 8:00 PM ET, NBCSN

Thursday, Aug. 6 – TBD

Saturday, Aug. 8 – TBD

 

7) New York Islanders vs. 10) Florida Panthers

Saturday, Aug. 1 – 4:00 PM ET, NBCSN

Tuesday, Aug. 4 – 12:00 PM ET, NBCSN

Wednesday, Aug. 5 – 12:00 PM ET, NBCSN

Friday, Aug. 7 – TBD

Sunday, Aug. 9 – TBD

 

8) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. 9) Columbus Blue Jackets

Sunday, Aug. 2 – 8:00 PM ET, NBCSN

Tuesday, Aug. 4 – 4:00 PM ET, NBCSN

Thursday, Aug. 6 – TBD

Friday, Aug. 7 – TBD

Sunday, Aug. 9 – TBD

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE

 

Round Robin

Sunday, Aug. 2: Blues vs. Avalanche (6:30 PM ET, NBCSN)

Monday, Aug. 3: Stars vs. Golden Knights (6:30 PM ET, NBCSN)

Wednesday, Aug. 5: Avalanche vs. Stars (6:30 PM ET, NBCSN)

Thursday, Aug. 6: Golden Knight vs. Blues (TBD)

Saturday, Aug. 8: Golden Knights vs. Avalanche (TBD)

Sunday, Aug. 9: Stars vs. Blues (TBD)

 

5) Edmonton Oilers vs. 12) Chicago Blackhawks

Saturday, Aug. 1 – 3:00 PM ET, NBC

Monday, Aug. 3 – 10:30 PM ET, NBCSN

Wednesday, Aug. 5 – 10:30 PM ET, NBCSN

Friday, Aug. 7 – TBD

Saturday, Aug. 8 – TBD

 

6) Nashville Predators vs. 11) Arizona Coyotes

Sunday, Aug. 2 – 2:00 PM ET, USA Network

Tuesday, Aug. 4 – 2:30 PM ET, NBCSN

Wednesday, Aug. 5 – 2:30 PM ET, NBCSN

Friday, Aug. 7 – TBD

Sunday, Aug. 9 – TBD

 

7) Vancouver Canucks vs. 10) Minnesota Wild

Sunday, Aug. 2 – 10:30 PM ET, NBCSN

Tuesday, Aug. 4 – 10:45 PM ET, USA Network

Thursday, Aug. 6 – TBD

Friday, Aug. 7 – TBD

Sunday, Aug. 9 – TBD

 

8) Calgary Flames vs. 9) Winnipeg Jets

Saturday, Aug. 1 – 10:30 PM ET, NBCSN

Monday, Aug. 3 – 2:30 PM ET, NBCSN

Tuesday, Aug. 4 – 4:45 PM ET, NBCSN

Thursday, Aug. 6 – TBD

Saturday, Aug. 8 – TBD

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Scott
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Scott

WATCHING! These players will all stand for the anthem. Sorry NBA you’re finished.

Dan
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Dan

I’ve never been more ready for hockey.

newsupporter
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newsupporter

Here we go

Bill
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Bill

Stick to hockey please stop covering the NBA please they are un American

davidchappine
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davidchappine

Things can change, but we might not be covering the NBA anymore.

Richard
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Richard

Great news. Won’t miss it.

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