Blue Jackets and Maple Leafs Could Square Off in Best-of-Five Play-In Series, Per Elliotte Friedman Report

By 1OB Staff on May 22, 2020 at 10:10 am
Gus Nyquist is denied on a breakaway against Frederik Andersen
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another step closer to a potential return to hockey. 

Elliotte Friedman reported in his weekly 31 Thoughts column that the playoff format is nearing a vote and could be decided as early as Friday night.

Per Friedman: 

Top four in each conference (based on points percentage) get byes. Then it is a “bracketed” setup: 5 vs. 12 (winner plays 4), 6 vs. 11 (winner plays 3), 7 vs. 10 (winner plays 2), 8 vs. 9 (winner plays 1). That’s how the NCAA basketball tournament does it, with the exception that the higher seeds have no byes.

Series best-of-five in the “play-in,” and best-of-seven after.

As it stands today, the Blue Jackets would be the nine-seed and would square off against the eight-seeded Toronto Maple Leafs. The winner of that series would face the top-ranked team in the Eastern Conference and the NHL, the Boston Bruins. 

Sportsnet is already publishing playoff preview pieces between the two clubs.

That seeding could change with a set of round-robin games, if those come to pass. There are still plenty of question marks, but like Friedman concludes: "At the very least, we’re getting closer to finding out what the post-season will look like."

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