NHL not expected to keep expanded playoff format next season

The Hockey Night in Canada panel go over all the news and rumours around the NHL, including if the league could expand the playoffs.

After the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench in the 2019-20 NHL season, the league decided to expand the post-season to a 24-team field.

Don’t expect the revamped format to stick around for the 2020-21 campaign, though.

“We’ve all enjoyed watching this and I was hoping it would create the momentum for the possibility of seeing this in the future… but this is not looking like it’s going to happen,” Sportsnet‘s Elliotte Friedman said on Saturday’s Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada. “There doesn’t appear to be the momentum for it and it doesn’t look it’s something that’s going to be tacked on to future NHL seasons.”

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The best-of-five Stanley Cup qualifiers saw a number of shocking upsets, highlighted by the 12th-seeded Montreal Canadiens eliminating Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in four games. Montreal was 10 points out of a playoff spot when the season was paused on March 12.

In the Western Conference, both the 12th-seeded Chicago Blackhawks and 11th-seeded Arizona Coyotes won their matchups over the Edmonton Oilers and Nashville Predators, respectively.


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