2020 Stanley Cup playoffs

The 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs is the ongoing playoff tournament of the National Hockey League (NHL). The playoffs began on August 1, 2020, and will tentatively conclude no later than October 4, with the Stanley Cup Finals, to determine the winner of the Stanley Cup. The playoffs were originally scheduled to begin in April, a few days after the 2019–20 NHL season, and end in June. However, on March 12, the regular season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[1]

2020 Stanley Cup playoffs
2020 Stanley Cup playoffs logo.svg
Tournament details
DatesAugust 1–October 2020
Teams24
Venue(s)Rogers Place, Edmonton
Scotiabank Arena, Toronto
Defending championsSt. Louis Blues
2019
2021 →

On May 26, commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed that the league was going to use a 24-team playoff format to finish the season, conducted in two or more host cities as "hubs" with players placed under strict health protocols, quarantined from the general public, and all games played behind closed doors with no fans admitted. On July 10, the league ratified an agreement for its protocols with the NHL Players Association (NHLPA). The Eastern Conference will play its early-round games at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, while the early rounds for the Western Conference, as well as the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Finals, will be played at Rogers Place in Edmonton.[2] This will be the first Stanley Cup playoffs to be contested entirely in Canada since 1925, as well as the first time that the Stanley Cup will be awarded on Canadian soil since 2011.[3]

The Boston Bruins made the playoffs as the Presidents' Trophy winners with the most points (i.e. best record) during the regular season. The Pittsburgh Penguins increased their postseason appearance streak to fourteen seasons, the current longest streak. For the first time since 1996, all California-based teams, the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, and San Jose Sharks, missed the playoffs. Six Canadian-based teams made the postseason this year, the most since 1993. It also marks the first time since 1986 that all four teams in cities based in Western Canada made the playoffs. In addition, it marked the first time that both the Winnipeg Jets and Arizona Coyotes (previously the original Jets, before relocation) qualified for the playoffs in the same season, as well as the first time the Coyotes made the playoffs since 2012. For the first time since 1999, all former World Hockey Association teams (Edmonton Oilers, Arizona Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes, and Colorado Avalanche) made the playoffs.

Playoff format

On May 26, the league announced that 24 teams (12 per conference) advanced to this special conference-based playoff tournament with teams being seeded based on their points percentage at the time the regular season was suspended on March 12. The top four teams in each conference played in a separate Seeding Round Robin to determine the seeding in the First Round. These games were played with regular season overtime and shootout rules, with the clubs accumulating points like the regular season, and any ties in the round-robin standings were broken by the regular-season points percentage. The eight lower seeded teams in each conference played in the Qualifying Round, a best-of-five series with playoff overtime rules. The winners of these seried advanced to face one of the round-robin teams in the First Round.[4]

On May 28, the NHL stated that both the round-robin and the qualifying round will also count under playoff records, on the same day that the league declared the winners of the stats-based regular-season NHL awards.[5] The league then announced on June 4 that all series after the qualifying round will remain a best-of-seven series but will be re-seeded after each round.[6] With the ratification of an extension to the collective bargaining agreement on July 10, the league also announced that all teams participating in the Qualifying Round are considered to have made the playoffs and have participated in a playoff series.[7]

Host cities

The playoffs are being held in two "hub" cities both in Canada; Edmonton, Alberta at Rogers Place, and Toronto, Ontario at Scotiabank Arena. They were announced as host cities on July 10 with the NHLPA's ratification of the Return to Play plan, and an extension to its collective bargaining agreement with the NHLPA through the 2025–26 season. In the early rounds, each city will host all the games in a conference: the Eastern Conference teams are playing in Toronto, and the Western Conference teams are playing in Edmonton. All games in the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Finals will be played in Edmonton.[3]

Edmonton and Toronto were among a shortlist of ten host cities announced on May 26, along with Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Saint Paul, and Vancouver.[4] After the league cut the shortlist down to six cities on June 22, Las Vegas and Vancouver were considered to be the frontrunners to host games.[8] Shortly after this, Vancouver dropped out of consideration on June 25, after health officials in British Columbia were unable to agree with the league on a protocol in the event that a player tested positive for COVID-19.[9] Las Vegas and the other U.S. cities were passed over after Nevada and other U.S. states began to experience a spike in COVID-19 cases in late June; it was reported that the NHL originally intended to have one host city in Canada and one in the United States.[10][11]

Each group of teams are playing inside what is called a "bubble."[12][13] A secure perimeter was constructed around both venues with various amenities, with Edmonton's covering four hotels in the Ice District and Rogers Place's existing practice facilities, and Toronto's split between Exhibition Place and the Fairmont Royal York hotel (which is connected to Scotiabank Arena). Both sites include fitness, dining and recreation areas. Restaurants are operating within the secure zones, and players are able to order outside food via concierge and local food delivery services. The games are being held behind closed doors, but non-participating players are allowed to watch games.[14] A large "stage" with multiple video screens was constructed to cover the empty stands for both teams in each end of the arena, and in-arena presentation will be customized for each team when they are the designated home team (including use of their goal music, among other features).[15][14]

Although the general public is not admitted within the direct vicinity of the arena or inside, Oilers Entertainment Group announced plans to set up an outdoor "FanFest" at the site of a former casino near Rogers Place with approval of municipal and provincial health officials, including a "drive-in" screening games and a beer garden.[16]

Medical protocols

Under the Return to Play plan that was ratified on July 10, any player could opt out of the restart without providing a reason and without any penalty, provided that they have informed their team by July 13, when formal training camps opened.[3] COVID-19 tests were then to be administered to players and staff every other day. On July 19, testing increased to three times 48 hours apart. The identities of those who test positive will not be released to the public, they will be isolated and designated with the generic description "unfit for play" until they are medically cleared, and all injury updates will be handled by the league instead of the teams.[17][18]

Teams arrived at their hub city on July 26; they are being isolated in a "secure zone" consisting of their hotels, restaurants, practice facilities, and the arena. Testing is now being done every day,[17] as well as daily temperature and symptom checks. Individuals have to wear masks outside their hotel rooms except when eating, exercising, or while on the ice or bench. Other exceptions include during interviews with appropriate social distancing.[19]

Under the Quarantine Act, all travellers entering Canada are currently required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival. The NHL received an exception to this policy for its players and staff, as long as they remain within the secure zone and are restricted from access to or by the general public.[20][21] Anybody who leaves the bubble without prior approval may face a mandatory 14-day quarantine or may be barred from returning. Teams could also face fines or loss of draft picks.[18][19]

Playoff teams

The following teams qualified for the playoffs:[22]

Eastern Conference

Seeding Round Robin
  1. Boston Bruins, Atlantic Division champions, Eastern Conference regular season champions, Presidents' Trophy winners – .714
  2. Tampa Bay Lightning – .657
  3. Washington Capitals, Metropolitan Division champions – .652
  4. Philadelphia Flyers – .645
Qualifying Round
  1. Pittsburgh Penguins – .623
  2. Carolina Hurricanes – .596
  3. New York Islanders – .588
  4. Toronto Maple Leafs – .579 (28 RWs)
  5. Columbus Blue Jackets – .579 (25 RWs)
  6. Florida Panthers – .565
  7. New York Rangers – .564
  8. Montreal Canadiens – .500

Western Conference

Seeding Round Robin
  1. St. Louis Blues, Central Division champions, Western Conference regular season champions – .662
  2. Colorado Avalanche – .657
  3. Vegas Golden Knights, Pacific Division champions – .606
  4. Dallas Stars – .594
Qualifying Round
  1. Edmonton Oilers – .585
  2. Nashville Predators – .565 (28 RWs)
  3. Vancouver Canucks – .565 (27 RWs)
  4. Calgary Flames – .564
  5. Winnipeg Jets – .563
  6. Minnesota Wild – .558
  7. Arizona Coyotes – .529
  8. Chicago Blackhawks – .514

Playoff bracket

In each round, the highest remaining seed in each conference is matched against the lowest remaining seed. The higher-seeded team is awarded home ice advantage. In the Stanley Cup Finals, home ice is determined based on regular season points percentage. Each best-of-five series followed a 2–2–1 format: the higher-seeded team was the designated as the host for games one and two (and game five, if necessary), and the lower-seeded team was the host for games three (and game four, if necessary). Each best-of-seven series follows a 2–2–1–1–1 format: the higher-seeded team is the host for games one and two (and games five and seven, if necessary), and the lower-seeded team is the host for games three and four (and game six, if necessary). In the First Round, the top four teams in each conference were seeded one through four based on their final standings from the Round Robin. The teams that advanced from the Qualifying Round were re-seeded five through eight based on their regular season points percentage.

  Qualifying Round First Round Second Round Conference Finals Stanley Cup Finals
                                               
5 Pittsburgh 1     1 Philadelphia 0  
12 Montreal 3     8 Montreal 0  
   
   
6 Carolina 3 2 Tampa Bay 1
11 NY Rangers 0     7 Columbus 0  
   
Eastern Conference
   
7 NY Islanders 3     3 Washington 0  
10 Florida 1     6 NY Islanders 0  
 
   
8 Toronto 2 4 Boston 0
9 Columbus 3     5 Carolina 0  
 
(Pairings are re-seeded after each of the first two rounds.)
 
5 Edmonton 1     1 Vegas 1  
12 Chicago 3     8 Chicago 0  
 
   
6 Nashville 1 2 Colorado 0
11 Arizona 3     7 Arizona 0  
 
Western Conference
   
7 Vancouver 3     3 Dallas 0  
10 Minnesota 1     6 Calgary 1  
 
   
8 Calgary 3 4 St. Louis 0
9 Winnipeg 1     5 Vancouver 0  

Exhibition games

Prior to the start of the playoffs, all 24 qualified teams played one exhibition game.[23]

July 28

July 29

July 30

Stanley Cup Qualifiers

The top four playoff teams in each conference played in a round-robin tournament against each other to determine the final playoff seeding. The round robin games were played with regular season overtime and shootout rules, with the teams accumulating points like the regular season, and any ties in the round-robin standings were broken by the regular-season points percentage instead of regulation wins.

The bottom eight playoff teams in each conference played in a best-of-five series to determine which four teams advanced to the First Round. The Qualifying Round games were played with Stanley Cup playoff overtime rules. Seeding was determined by regular season points percentage.

Eastern Conference seeding round-robin

Pos Team GP W L OTL PCT GF GA GD Pts
1 Philadelphia Flyers 3 3 0 0 0.645 11 3 +8 6
2 Tampa Bay Lightning 3 2 1 0 0.657 7 8 −1 4
3 Washington Capitals 3 1 1 1 0.652 5 7 −2 3
4 Boston Bruins 3 0 3 0 0.714 4 9 −5 0
Updated to match(es) played on August 9. Source: 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers

During the first game of Round Robin play, the Flyers' Carter Hart made 34 saves against the Bruins in a 4–1 victory.[24] In the game between Washington and Tampa Bay, with the game forced to go to a shootout (the first in Stanley Cup playoff history), Nikita Kucherov's shot got past Braden Holtby for the winning goal in a 3–2 triumph.[25] The Lightning then faced the Bruins, and Tyler Johnson's goal at 18:33 of the third period won the game for Tampa Bay 3–2.[26] The Flyers, in their match-up against the Capitals, Scott Laughton's two goals assisted Philadelphia's 3–1 victory.[27] Between the top two seeds, the Flyers defeated the Lightning 4–1 to take the first seed riding on Nicolas Aube-Kubel's two goals in the first period.[28] Battling out for the third spot, Holtby made 30 saves for Washington in their victory, defeating the Presidents' Trophy-winning Boston Bruins 2–1.[29]

Western Conference seeding round-robin

Pos Team GP W L OTL PCT GF GA GD Pts
1 Vegas Golden Knights 3 3 0 0 0.606 15 10 +5 6
2 Colorado Avalanche 3 2 0 1 0.657 9 5 +4 5
3 Dallas Stars 3 1 2 0 0.594 5 10 −5 2
4 St. Louis Blues 3 0 2 1 0.662 6 10 −4 1
Updated to match(es) played on August 9. Source: 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers

During the first game between Colorado and St. Louis, Nazem Kadri scored with 0.1 remaining on the clock for the Avalanche emerging victorious 2–1.[30][31] Vegas staged a two-goal comeback in their game against Dallas, coming back from 3–1 down to win 5–3.[32] Avalanche goalie Pavel Francouz shut out the Stars 4–0 taking a 2–0 record in the Round Robin.[33] Vegas forward Alex Tuch and defenceman Shea Theodore both scored twice in their game against St. Louis, emerging victorious 6–4.[34] Battling out for the first seed, the Avalanche and Golden Knights held a back-and-forth affair until Alex Tuch scored in overtime to give Vegas a 4–3 victory, emerging as the top seed in the Western Conference.[35] The round robin finale between the Stars and Blues was to determine the third seed. Joe Pavelski tied the game at one for the Stars with only 32 seconds remaining in regulation, then Denis Gurianov scored the only goal of the shootout to give Dallas the third seed with the 2–1 victory.[36]


Eastern Conference Qualifying Round

(5) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (12) Montreal Canadiens

Pittsburgh finished fifth in the Eastern Conference with 86 points in 69 games for a points percentage of .623. Montreal gained 71 points in 71 games for a points percentage of .500 to finish twelfth in the Eastern Conference. This was the third playoff meeting between these two teams, with Montreal winning both previous series. They last met in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals, which Montreal won in seven games. Pittsburgh won two of the three games in this year's regular season series.

The Canadiens upset the Penguins in four games. With game one remaining tied 2–2 after the third period, Jeff Petry scored in overtime to give the Canadiens the victory.[37] Among the 38 shots the Penguins forced on Carey Price in game two, Pittsburgh forward Jason Zucker's goal in the third period was the game-winner in their 3–1 triumph.[38] In game three, Jeff Petry's goal in the third period capped a two-goal comeback for Montreal winning the affair 4–3 and taking the series lead.[39] In game four, Carey Price shut the Penguins out 2–0 advancing the team to the First Round of the playoffs.[40]


Montreal won series 3–1


(6) Carolina Hurricanes vs. (11) New York Rangers

Carolina finished sixth in the Eastern Conference with 81 points in 68 games for a points percentage of .596. New York gained 79 points in 70 games for a points percentage of .564 to finish eleventh in the Eastern Conference. This was the first playoff meeting between these two teams. New York won all four games in this year's regular season series.

The Hurricanes defeated the Rangers in a three-game sweep. In game one, Sebastian Aho and Jaccob Slavin both recorded a goal and an assist in the Hurricanes 3–2 victory.[41] Andrei Svechnikov scored the Hurricanes' first playoff hat trick during game two in a 4–1 victory, giving Carolina the chance to clinch in game three.[42] Aho provided two goals and an assist in game three giving Carolina a 4–1 victory and advancing the team to the First Round of the playoffs.[43]


Carolina won series 3–0


(7) New York Islanders vs. (10) Florida Panthers

New York finished seventh in the Eastern Conference with 80 points in 68 games for a points percentage of .588. Florida gained 78 points in 69 games for a points percentage of .565 to finish tenth in the Eastern Conference. This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams. Their only previous meeting was in the 2016 Eastern Conference First Round, which New York won in six games. New York won all three games in this year's regular season series.

The Islanders defeated the Panthers in four games. In game one, a 27-save performance by New York goalie Semyon Varlamov gave the Islanders a 2–1 victory.[44] Game two had Jordan Eberle score two goals for the Islanders, leading the team to a 4–2 victory.[45] The Panthers, in danger of elimination in game three, scored two power-play goals en route to a 3–2 victory to force a fourth game.[46] In the fourth game, Anthony Beauvillier scored twice for New York to send the Islanders to the first round of the playoffs in a 5–1 victory.[47]


New York won series 3–1


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

Toronto finished eighth in the Eastern Conference with 81 points in 70 games for a points percentage of .579 and 28 RWs. Columbus had the same points percentage, but with 25 RWs they finished ninth. This was the first playoff meeting between these two teams. These teams split their two-game regular season series.

The Blue Jackets defeated the Maple Leafs in five games. Joonas Korpisalo shut out the Maple Leafs in game one, stopping all 28 shots in a 2–0 victory.[48] Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen responded with his own shut out in game two, stopping 20 shots in the process of a 3–0 victory.[49] Pierre-Luc Dubois's hat-trick, three-goal comeback-fulfilling, overtime goal spurred Columbus' game three victory, winning by a score of 4–3.[50] The Maple Leafs then responded with their own three-goal comeback, all while sporting an extra attacker with the goalie pulled. Auston Matthews then scored the overtime game-winner, the Leafs were victorious by a score of 4–3.[51] In game five, Korpisalo shut the door on the Leafs, stopping all 33 shots in a 3–0 victory to advance to the First Round of the playoffs.[52]


Columbus won series 3–2


Western Conference Qualifying Round

(5) Edmonton Oilers vs. (12) Chicago Blackhawks

Edmonton finished fifth in the Western Conference with 83 points in 71 games for a points percentage of .585. Chicago gained 72 points in 70 games for a points percentage of .514 to finish twelfth in the Western Conference. This was the fifth playoff meeting between these two teams, with Edmonton winning three of the four previous series. They last met in the 1992 Clarence Campbell Conference Finals, which Chicago won in a four-game sweep. Chicago won two of the three games in this year's regular season series.

The Blackhawks upset the Oilers in four games. Blackhawks rookie forward Dominik Kubalik scored two goals and assisted three times in game one, resulting in Chicago's 6–4 victory.[53] In game two, Oilers captain Connor McDavid recorded a hat-trick assisted thrice by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tying the series 1–1 in a 6–3 triumph.[54] In game three, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews scored twice, including the game-winner with 1:16 remaining in the game, capping off a 4–3 victory.[55] In game four, Kubalik's goal at 8:30 of the third period proved to be the series-winner, defeating the Oilers 3–2.


Chicago won series 3–1


(6) Nashville Predators vs. (11) Arizona Coyotes

Nashville finished sixth in the Western Conference with 78 points in 69 games for a points percentage of .565, winning the tiebreaker against Vancouver with 28 RWs. Arizona gained 74 points in 70 games for a points percentage of .529 to finish eleventh in the Western Conference. This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams. Their only previous meeting was in the 2012 Western Conference Semifinals, which Arizona won in five games. These teams split their two-game regular season series.

The Coyotes defeated the Predators in four games. In game one, the Coyotes jumped out to a 4–1 lead, scoring a power play and a shorthanded goal, and held off a Predators third period rally for the victory.[56] Although the Coyotes had two goals in the final minute of game two, the Predators successfully kept the lead winning 4–2.[57] In game three, Darcy Kuemper stopped 39 of 40 shots and his teammates exploded for three goals in the third period, leading to a 4–1 victory.[58] The Coyotes clinched in game four after much drama; they blew a 2–0 second period lead and allowed Filip Forsberg's tying goal with only 32 seconds left in regulation, but Brad Richardson scored the series-winner 5:27 into overtime.[59]


Arizona won series 3–1


(7) Vancouver Canucks vs. (10) Minnesota Wild

Vancouver finished seventh in the Western Conference with 78 points in 69 games for a points percentage of .565, losing the tiebreaker against Nashville with 27 RWs. Minnesota gained 77 points in 69 games for a points percentage of .558 to finish tenth in the Western Conference. This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams. Their only previous meeting was in the 2003 Western Conference Semifinals, which Minnesota came back from a 3–1 series deficit to win in seven games. Minnesota won two of the three games in this year's regular season series.

The Canucks defeated the Wild in four games. Alex Stalock stopped all 28 shots he faced in Minnesota's game one victory; the Wild won 3–0.[60] In game two, Bo Horvat and Alexander Edler both had a goal and an assist in game two to help Vancouver even the series 1–1 winning the contest 4–3.[61] Quinn Hughes assisted on all three goals and Jacob Markstrom stopped all 27 shots for Vancouver's game three victory.[62] In game four, the Canucks' Christopher Tanev provided two assists and the series-winning overtime goal to send Vancouver to the First Round of the playoffs.


Vancouver won series 3–1


(8) Calgary Flames vs. (9) Winnipeg Jets

Calgary finished eighth in the Western Conference with 79 points in 70 games for a points percentage of .564. Winnipeg gained 80 points in 71 games for a points percentage of .563 to finish ninth in the Western Conference. This was the first playoff meeting between these two teams. This was also the first Stanley Cup playoff meeting between these two cities since the 1987 Smythe Division Semifinals. Winnipeg won the only game in this year's regular season series, which was played outdoors.

The Flames defeated the Jets in four games. In game one, the Flames scored a power-play goal, then a short-handed goal, followed by another power-play goal in the second period to take a 4–1 victory.[63] The Jets tied the series 1–1 on Connor Hellebuyck's 28-save performance in a 3–2 victory.[64] In game three, Sean Monahan scored a goal and assisted twice in the Flames' 6–2 victory, giving his team a chance to advance in game four.[65] Cam Talbot led the Flames to the series victory in game four, shutting the Jets out by a score of 4–0, stopping all 31 shots in the process.[66]


Calgary won series 3–1


First Round

Note: Teams seeded 1–4 in each conference are based on their final standings from the Round Robin. All teams advancing from the Qualifying Round are re-seeded 5–8 based on their regular season points percentage. All times listed are in EDT (UTC−4). Due to the length of previously played games on the same day some start times may be subject to change.

Eastern Conference First Round

(1) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (8) Montreal Canadiens

Philadelphia earned the first seed in the Eastern Conference after finishing 3–0 in the Round Robin; during the regular season they finished with 89 points in 69 games for a .645 points percentage. Montreal earned the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference as the lowest advancing seed from the Qualifying Round by defeating Pittsburgh. This will be the seventh playoff meeting between these two teams with both teams splitting the six previous series. They last met in the 2010 Eastern Conference Final, which Philadelphia won in five games. Philadelphia won two of the three games in this year's regular season series.


Series starts August 12


(2) Tampa Bay Lightning vs. (7) Columbus Blue Jackets

Tampa Bay earned the second seed in the Eastern Conference after finishing 2–1 in the Round Robin; during the regular season they finished with 92 points in 70 games for a .657 points percentage. Columbus earned the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference as the second lowest advancing seed from the Qualifying Round by defeating Toronto. This will be the second consecutive playoff meeting and second postseason match-up between these two teams. Columbus won last year's playoff meeting in a four-game sweep. Tampa Bay won the only game in this year's regular season series.


Tampa Bay leads series 1–0


(3) Washington Capitals vs. (6) New York Islanders

Washington earned the third seed in the Eastern Conference after finishing 1–2 in the Round Robin; during the regular season they finished with 90 points in 69 games for a .652 points percentage. New York earned the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference as the second highest advancing seed from the Qualifying Round by defeating Florida. This will be the eighth playoff meeting between these two teams with New York winning five of the seven previous series. They last met in the 2015 Eastern Conference First Round, which Washington won in seven games. These teams split the four games in this year's regular season series.


Series starts August 12


(4) Boston Bruins vs. (5) Carolina Hurricanes

Boston earned the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference after finishing 0–3 in the Round Robin; during the regular season they finished with 100 points in 70 games for a .714 points percentage. Carolina earned the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference as the highest advancing seed from the Qualifying Round by defeating the New York Rangers. This will be the second consecutive postseason match-up and sixth playoff meeting overall between these two teams. Boston won last year's series in a four-game sweep. Boston won the only game in this year's regular season series.


Series starts August 12


Western Conference First Round

(1) Vegas Golden Knights vs. (8) Chicago Blackhawks

Vegas earned the first seed in the Western Conference after finishing 3–0 in the Round Robin; during the regular season they finished with 86 points in 71 games for a .606 points percentage. Chicago earned the eighth seed in the Western Conference as the lowest advancing seed from the Qualifying Round by defeating Edmonton. This will be the first playoff meeting between these two teams. Vegas won two of the three games in this year's regular season series.


Vegas leads series 1–0


(2) Colorado Avalanche vs. (7) Arizona Coyotes

Colorado earned the second seed in the Western Conference after finishing 2–1 in the Round Robin; during the regular season they finished with 92 points in 70 games for a .657 points percentage. Arizona earned the seventh seed in the Western Conference as the second lowest advancing seed from the Qualifying Round by defeating Nashville. This will be the second playoff meeting between these two teams. Their only previous meeting was in the 2000 Western Conference Quarterfinals, which Colorado won in five games. These teams split their two-game regular season series.


Series starts August 12


(3) Dallas Stars vs. (6) Calgary Flames

Dallas earned the third seed in the Western Conference after finishing 1–2 in the Round Robin; during the regular season they finished with 82 points in 69 games for a .594 points percentage. Calgary earned the sixth seed in the Western Conference as the second highest advancing seed from the Qualifying Round by defeating Winnipeg. This will be the second playoff meeting between these two teams. Their only previous meeting was in the 1981 Stanley Cup Semifinals, which the then-Minnesota North Stars won in six games. Calgary won two of the three games in this year's regular season series.


Calgary leads series 1–0


(4) St. Louis Blues vs. (5) Vancouver Canucks

St. Louis earned the fourth seed in the Western Conference after finishing 0–3 in the Round Robin; during the regular season they finished with 94 points in 71 games for a .662 points percentage. Vancouver earned the fifth seed in the Western Conference as the highest advancing seed from the Qualifying Round by defeating Minnesota. This will be the fourth playoff meeting between these two teams, with Vancouver winning all three previous series. They last met in the 2009 Western Conference Quarterfinals, which Vancouver won in a four-game sweep. Vancouver won two of the three games in this year's regular season series.


Series starts August 12


Player statistics

Skaters

These are the top ten skaters based on points, following the conclusion of games played on August 9. Currently active players are in bold.[67]

Player Team GP G A Pts +/– PIM
Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers 4 5 4 9 +1 2
Sebastian Aho Carolina Hurricanes 3 3 5 8 +5 2
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Edmonton Oilers 4 2 6 8 –2 0
Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks 4 4 3 7 +2 2
Leon Draisaitl Edmonton Oilers 4 3 3 6 +1 0
Dominik Kubalik Chicago Blackhawks 4 3 3 6 +2 4
Sean Monahan Calgary Flames 4 2 4 6 +4 0
Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs 5 2 4 6 +1 0
Quinn Hughes Vancouver Canucks 4 1 5 6 +2 0
Scott Laughton Philadelphia Flyers 3 3 2 5 +4 12
Andrei Svechnikov Carolina Hurricanes 3 3 2 5 +5 4

Goaltenders

This is a combined table of the top five goaltenders based on goals against average and the top five goaltenders based on save percentage, with at least 120 minutes played. Currently active players are in bold. The table is sorted by GAA, and the criteria for inclusion are bolded.[68]

Player Team GP W L SA GA GAA SV% SO TOI
Carter Hart Philadelphia Flyers 2 2 0 59 2 1.00 .966 0 120:00
Joonas Korpisalo Columbus Blue Jackets 4 2 1 114 5 1.45 .956 2 206:36
Cam Talbot Calgary Flames 4 3 1 110 6 1.51 .945 1 238:19
Carey Price Montreal Canadiens 4 3 1 133 7 1.67 .947 1 251:55
Semyon Varlamov New York Islanders 4 3 1 103 7 1.77 .932 0 237:35
Elvis Merzlikins Columbus Blue Jackets 2 1 1 74 4 1.96 .946 0 122:45

Media

This marks the sixth postseason under Rogers Sports & Media's 12-year contract for Canadian television rights to the NHL. All games are exclusively broadcast by Sportsnet networks and CBC Television under the Hockey Night in Canada brand, and streamed on Sportsnet Now, CBCSports.ca (for games televised by CBC), or the subscription service Rogers NHL Live.[69][70]

This also marks the ninth postseason under NBC Sports' current 10-year contract for American rights. All national coverage of games are being aired on either NBCSN, the NBC broadcast network, CNBC, NHL Network, or USA Network. During the round-robins, qualifying round, and first round, excluding games exclusively broadcast on NBC, the regional rightsholders of each participating U.S. team will produce local telecasts of their respective games.[71][72]

Only technical staff such as cameramen and producers are present inside the "bubble". A clean host feed is then sent to media partners to add commentary and surrounding coverage, and interviews with players have to be conducted via videoconferencing.[73] Commentators are calling the games remotely off of monitors from either their respective studios or from their home arena press boxes. This same arrangement is also being done for the radio networks of every team.[74][75]

While it initially stated that all commentators would broadcast remotely, the league has nevertheless allowed a handful of both Sportsnet and NBC commentators and reporters into the hubs to call select games.[18] Chris Cuthbert, who jumped from TSN to Sportsnet during the break in June, and Louie DeBrusk will be on-site in Edmonton;[76] and Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson are on-site in Toronto.[77] For NBC, John Forslund, Mike Milbury, and Brian Boucher are in Toronto; and Pierre McGuire in Edmonton. NBC also plans for "the majority of calls" to eventually be conducted on-site, including the last two rounds of the playoffs in Edmonton. In the meantime, most of NBC's commentators work games remotely from NBC Sports' studios in Stamford, Connecticut (besides Mike "Doc" Emrick, who will work games from his home studio in Metro Detroit).[78][79]

Additional cameras are being used to provide new angles not usually possible when a crowd is present,[80] and de-emphasize views of the arenas' stands. The telecasts use simulated crowd noise provided by Electronic Arts, combined with recordings of team-specific chants by season ticketholders of participating teams (the latter of which will also be played in-arena). All games carry a five second broadcast delay in order to censor offensive language.[15][14][81][82]

NBC staff will work the Toronto broadcasts, while Sportsnet staff will work the Edmonton broadcasts.[18][83] Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun reported on Canadian freelance broadcast workers upset that NBC personnel were being allowed into Canada to work in Toronto instead of them.[83] The NHL's EVP of communications Gary Meagher stated that splitting production in this manner had been intended "from the onset". Premier of Ontario Doug Ford admitted that plans of NBC's involvement were not part of the early negotiations with the league.[84]

References

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